LEEDS 2023: Year of Culture

Part Three of the LEEDS 2023 story is all about Dreaming. Where dreams will be celebrated and a vision for the future brought to life.

As the year begins to draw to a close, don't miss our closing ceremony 'The Gifting', a live storytelling performance from 26 to 31 Dec.

Dreaming in neon text above the clock in kirkgate market striking 11pm

Hibiscus Rising

A new sculpture by Yinka Shonibare CBE RA to honour David Oluwale, the British Nigerian and Leeds resident whose personal story inspired local people to create a lasting legacy to mark his life.

Inspired by the hibiscus flower, a plant ubiquitous in Nigeria and common to the heritage of both Oluwale and Shonibare, this artwork is embellished with African inspired batik patterns and stands as a beacon of hope. It tells a story of reconciliation, healing and renewal for the city, and provides a beautiful new public space for visitors and the people of Leeds.

Hibiscus Rising sculpture in Leeds. A hibiscus flower with batik pattern artwork.
Two people stood in a gallery looking up at artwork on display

We’re creating a celebration that's about Leeds, for Leeds, by Leeds. Credit: JMA photography

What is LEEDS 2023?

The story behind the year

LEEDS 2023 brings together a huge range of cultural activities across the city.


    We’ve had so many great moments this year so far. It's a year of making memories.

    LEEDS 2023 belongs to people. Every event, activity and interaction has created its own story and had its own impact on the people who made it happen and who experienced it. We thank everyone who has made a memory so far.

    A wide shot of the stage with gold fireworks flying in the air either side
    A shot of Leeds Culture Map

    Experience Leeds wherever you are

    LEEDS 2023 online is a fun and interactive way to explore the year of culture from wherever you are. Take a 360 tour of the artworks, see your ward’s motif come to life, learn about the lifecycle of a tree, and see what's happening in your neighbourhood.

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    Thank you
    A huge thank you to our principal partners