New neighbourhood SOYO Leeds, in the heart of the city’s cultural quarter, is delighted to announce that local artist EV Hardaker has been appointed as Artist in Residence and is marking the cementing of this partnership with the launch of THE ARCH - a major temporary art installation at the heart of the project.

EV Hardaker (Emma) is a Leeds-based visual artist and designer originally from Hull. Over the last decade she has grown a reputation for her socially engaged practice that employs bold patterns and punchy colour palettes to stimulate conversations with communities about places across the North. Emma will be responsible for a programme of temporary projects and permanent installations, further animating the area, as the £300million regeneration by Caddick Group enters its final phase.

Emma says, “I’m so excited to be working more formally with SOYO following our successful pop-up projects. Using found photographs and documentation of the historic Quarry Hill area, I've been inspired by the wallpapers and interior designs of the former flats to create a unique set of patterns and a new palette for the project. This will hopefully help bridge between the past and the future and provide a long-lasting legacy that is embedded into the furniture and fabric of SOYO. “

Emma’s previous projects in the public realm have included large-scale wall and pavement paintings and, increasingly, ambitious sculptural interventions. These sit alongside product ranges, prints and private commissions for clients including major developers, education providers, local authorities and commercial businesses in Bradford, Leeds, Manchester, Wakefield, York and other locations across the North.

Talking about THE ARCH Emma says, “I wanted to create a standalone, interactive statement piece and through my research decided to reference the architectural designs of the entranceways. So ARCH is my is my interpretation of walking through the entrance to the original Quarry Hill flats, creating a new experience for people, whilst also reflecting this history of the area.”

Lee Savage, director at Caddick Developments and lead for the SOYO regeneration says, “We are big fans of Emma’s bold, vibrant designs, which are becoming an important part of the area’s identity. Her work helps us celebrate, respect and immortalise the past, whilst creating a strong, modern identity for the SOYO - a space that we want everyone to enjoy.”

Recent projects by EV Hardaker include; WOW Barn as part of Leeds 2023 Year of Culture, The Regent’s Street flyover between Mabgate and Quarry Hill, as well as SOYO’s Frankie Bear for the Leeds Bear Trail 2023.