The mural, which will be painted on the two-storey gable end of a former pub in Mabgate, Leeds, celebrates the area’s important ceramics heritage and features as part of the city’s Year of Culture 2023.
Taking inspiration from the renowned Burmantofts pottery, the mural ECHOES includes redesigned patterns from tiles that can be seen at some of Leeds’ most esteemed institutions – including Leeds Central Library, Leeds Town Hall, University of Leeds, and Leeds Grand Theatre. By combining traditional decorative elements with contemporary designs, Add Fuel, on closer inspection, reveals a detailed world of unique images and characters – brimming with unequivocally original motifs and characters with deep emotions.
ECHOES – commissioned as part of LEEDS 2023, the city’s Year of Culture – is the latest in our ‘A City Less Grey’ series which brings new and unique artwork to the streets and neighbourhoods of Leeds. Add Fuel’s artwork sits alongside pieces across the city including: the epic ‘Athena Rising’ mural on the Platform building near Leeds Train Station by NOMAD Clan; Ian Kirkpatrick’s ‘Hare of Harehills’ outside The Compton Centre; and ‘Common Ground’ by Mel Holmes at the old ABC cinema site on Vicar Lane.
"My intent is the creation of something truly unique but also truly familiar to the community. An echo of the past living vividly in the present.” Add Fuel
About Add Fuel
Add Fuel is Portuguese visual artist Diogo Machado (b. 1980). Starting out under the full name Add Fuel to the Fire, he first created a dark yet exuberant visual universe populated by a cast of slimy, eccentric and joyful creatures, influenced by a variety of interests ranging from video games to comics, animation, sci-fi, designer toys, and urban visual culture.
In 2008, fascinated with the aesthetic possibilities of symmetrical patterning and tessellations, he shortened his moniker to Add Fuel and began redirecting his focus towards working with and reinterpreting the language of traditional tile design, and that of the Portuguese tin-glazed ceramic azulejo in particular. Effortlessly blending these two seemingly irreconcilable visual idioms, his current practice seeks to combine traditional decorative elements with contemporary visual referents into new forms that reveal impressive complexity and masterful attention to detail.
Besides the numerous public art interventions he has been creating in various countries, he has also been showcasing his work in solo and group exhibitions in reputed galleries and museums.
LEEDS 2023 is supported by Arts Council England and National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players for making this possible.
Leeds City Council has provided funding and support for the mural.
It was lovely to get a glimpse into what our Netherlands-based residency artists have been up to during their stay with us, at their sharing event on Friday. Chiara Tammaro, Tom Dijkstra and Sijas de Groot stayed with us over the past two weeks at Convention House, and over their time discovered Leeds, studios in the city, and local communities.