Yorkshire locals react to controversial artwork added on 53 trees featuring eyes, mouths and teeth across various Leeds city centre locations

An artist has created abstract features of eyes, mouths and teeth and added them to 53 trees across various Leeds city centre locations - Yorkshire locals have shared their thoughts on the artwork.

A new art installation has seen trees across Leeds city centre covered in abstract art in an attempt to bring them to life.

Artist and designer Joe Mason produced the artwork entitled ‘The Trees Are Alive’, with the aim of bringing new life into the urban landscape by adorning 53 trees with more than 100 simple artworks, each featuring eyes, mouths, teeth and abstract shapes.

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This art spans city centre locations City Square, Albion Place and Queen Square and the installation uses basic materials, giving them facial expressions.

Artwork on trees in Leeds city centre. (Pic credit: Leeds City Council)Artwork on trees in Leeds city centre. (Pic credit: Leeds City Council)
Artwork on trees in Leeds city centre. (Pic credit: Leeds City Council)

It was officially launched on May 22 and is funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and will remain there throughout summer.

Mr Mason said: “I wanted to tap into the universal human instinct to find patterns and faces in the world around us.

“We’re drawn to seek out the personality in everyday objects and that’s what I want to celebrate by drawing attention to the natural world within the city – and most importantly make people smile.”

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Leeds City Council’s deputy leader and executive member for economy, culture and education, Coun Jonathan Pryor, said: “Joe Mason’s art installation is a wonderful way to bring more play and imagination into the city centre, encouraging visitors to stay curious about nature and not just view it as static.

“Next time you find yourself wandering through the city centre, take a moment to pause, look up and appreciate our new friendly trees.

“We are working towards Leeds being the best city in the UK for children to grow up in and the new installation puts them at the heart of the city centre.”

Yorkshire locals had something to say about the artwork.

Yorkshire residents react to artwork added to 53 trees in Leeds city centre

“I would question the definition of ‘artwork’.” - Angela Raynor

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“It’s pathetic. Did the council pay him to do it?” - Judith Smith

“I'm sure it made the 'artist' feel good about themselves for a moment, and gave whoever commissioned or permitted the thing an excuse to continue getting paid for doing nothing that benefits the community they are supposed to represent. I doubt it had any impact on anyone else at all.” - Damion Royce

“Trees are welcome in Leeds City Centre but hanging ‘artwork‘ detracts from their beauty. Two questions. Firstly who funded this artwork display and was it funded from public money? Secondly, who’s authorised this ‘artwork‘ and what benefits does it achieve?” - Philippa Bairstow

“Looks like a peperami - bit of an animal… Artworks, I’ve seen better from year 4 kids.” - Gareth Roberts

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“I'm sure I will smile when I see them, we are allowed aren't we? I like them.” - Terence O'neill

“Looks like kids have been playing a prank.” - Debbie Casey

“A child could have done better. In fact, give out bags of googly eyes and we can all join in, that would be fun.” - Tracy Sheard

“You got an artist and designer to do this? ... wow lol, they saw you lot coming.” - Wendy Edmondson

“It would make me smile if I saw it.” - Bev Buxton

“What is it supposed to be?” - Sylvia Wilding

“Much better than the ‘plank’ monstrosity. Something to bring a smile to your face.” - Linda Murray

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“Just plant more trees. Forget the so-called ‘art work’!” - Gill Leek

“Oh that's fun! Shame the comments are full of boring people who don't think fun is worth having.” - Tim Oliver

“The kids will love it and then there's the low vibrational adult children that like to take the fun out of everything for the kids.” - Stuart Deighton

“Can they be used to help fill the potholes?” - Pauline Brown

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“A bit of fun, God forbid we are allowed that nowadays. We have gone backwards in acceptability in recent years.” - Mal Hartley

“Are there any councillors involved in this 'activity' who want to comment? Many want to know who paid for the childish and very frivolous waste of money.” - Angela Brand

“Well it should be cheaper than the planks in City Square were - still not my idea of art.” - Peter Lovatt

“They spent the pothole repair fund on this? Next they'll blame the government for the state of the roads.” - Laurence Peake

“Thought provoking, evocative of a new age.” - Chris Hobson

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