Art student completes £1k painting for Willmott Dixon Interiors

The Quarry House art work

Holly Herbert, a BA (Hons) Fine Art graduate at Leeds Arts University has created a piece of artwork for a major office refurbishment in the city.

Holly was commissioned and funded by national fit-out and refurbishment specialist contractor, Willmott Dixon Interiors, to deliver a mural at Quarry House in central Leeds.

The 21-year-old, from Snettisham in Norfolk, was chosen ahead of 22 other entrants in a live brief delivered by Willmott Dixon Interiors in partnership with Leeds Arts University.

The artwork was commissioned by Willmott Dixon Interiors’ Social Investment Fund which invests over £1 million in local projects throughout the country. The Fund awarded Holly with £1,000 following completion of the mural, which took more than three months to paint.

The finished piece comprises 15 timber panels, spanning more than 11 sq m and is designed to enhance the working environment at Quarry House where it is on display.

It replaces an existing installation as part of Willmott Dixon Interiors’ full category Cat B fit out and refurbishment of 64,583 sq ft of commercial office space on level two of Quarry House.

Holly, who aspires to work as a freelance artist said that winning the competition had given her a great opportunity to launch her career.

She said: “I’m so grateful to have been chosen. Everyone I’ve met at Quarry House has been so welcoming and helpful, it’s certainly been an enjoyable environment to work in.

“What people will take from my work is completely subjective but my piece is generally meant to be bright and warm and full of life. I wanted it to draw people in and be something you just want to become lost in for a while.

“It’s rewarding to feel that you have created something that can affect someone and that people liked my work enough to display it. I eventually hope to support myself through selling my paintings and working with galleries.”

Phil Crowther, regional director at Willmott Dixon Interiors, said: “Huge thanks to Holly for creating a brilliant mural that greatly enhances the space for employees and visitors to Quarry House.

“As part of our modernisation of level two of the building, we were keen to install an inspiring piece of artwork that would truly stand out and Holly’s painting does just that. We’ve really enjoyed working with the team at Leeds Arts University who have kindly supported our delivery of the competition and helped us to give a talented local artist the chance to gain professional experience and showcase her work.”

Willmott Dixon Interiors has recorded more than £9m in Social Return on Investment (SROI) through the transformation of level two at Quarry House, the second headquarters of the Department for Health and Social Care in the city.

The project generated £1m added social value in support of opportunities for the local community such as creating job opportunities, work experience placements, and delivering employability skills training to students and vulnerable young people and adults.

The contractor is currently undertaking its second project at Quarry House in the delivery of a CAT B fit-out and refurbishment of almost 12,000 sq ft of commercial office space on level eight of the building.

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