Announcing Star Maker, a mobile Observatory for East Leeds

StarMaker video courtesy of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison

Major new commission announced: Star Maker, a mobile Observatory by artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison to tour East Leeds and beyond in 2023

We are incredibly excited to announce Star Maker, a major new co-production in partnership with LEEDS 2023 as part of Smeaton300, a creative events programme developed by Foxglove inspired by the work and ethos of East Leeds born civil engineer, astronomer and inventor John Smeaton. Leading into his 300th anniversary in 2024, artists Heather Peak and Ivan Morison will create a bespoke mobile Observatory.

Following our earlier announcement of a mobile observatory for East Leeds, Star Maker is inspired by Smeaton’s incredible legacy, Star Maker will tour East Leeds and various venues in neighbourhoods across the city for seven months during 2023.

Alongside the tour, Smeaton300 will curate a programme of talks and debates featuring some of today’s most inventive minds from across engineering, science, industry and art to get us thinking big. And looking to the future, an innovative learning programme will inspire tomorrow’s creative thinkers and engineers.

About the Artists: Peak and Morison

Heather Peak (b.1973, UK) and Ivan Morison (b.1974, Turkey) have established an ambitious collaborative practice over the past 18 years that transcends the divisions between art, architecture, theatre and social practice, questioning what it means to be an artist in the 21st Century.

They are co-directors of Studio Morison, an artist-led creative practice which supports and realises their ideas and the people they work with.

Central to their work is involvement with spaces of human coexistence and with the communities that occupy or may gather there. On a societal level Studio Morison is working to re-establish civic life; on a human level it looks to bring meaning, beauty and purpose into everyday life.

Heather and Ivan have created temporary and permanent projects in many countries around the world, and their work is held in private and public collections in the UK, Canada, USA, Holland and Denmark. Recent commissions include Silence – Alone in a World of Wounds at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, and Small Bells Ring, commissioned by Coventry City of Culture, Super Slow Way, Lancashire Libraries, Coventry Libraries and Canal & River Trust (both 2021).

A new monograph about their work, titled Love Me Or Leave Me Alone: The Very Public Art of Heather Peak and Ivan Morison, was published by Art/Books earlier this year. 

Star Maker Credits

Star Maker is by Heather Peak and Ivan Morison. Designed in collaboration with East Leeds Project and East Leeds communities, it is an East Leeds Project and LEEDS 2023 Co-Production, commissioned by Foxglove and LEEDS 2023 for Smeaton300.

Smeaton300 is an original idea from Foxglove that celebrates the work of civil engineer John Smeaton. It is made possible by Leeds City Council, LEEDS 2023, The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Burberry.

Logos for East Leeds Project, LEEDS 2023, Smeaton300, Foxglove, National Lottery Heritage Fund, 
Burberry, Leeds City Council