Thursday, 4 November 2010


Harry Thubron is well known in the Fine Art academic community, but scarcely at all outside it. In addition to being a great changer of art (and other) education, he was a sought after "industrial artist".

He had many public installations. One was on the entrance face to a warehouse in Holbeck, South Leeds, unveiled in 1964. Times change, and this is now a very neglected and largely deserted area. Some of the fortifications defending derelict 60s blocks are collector's items.

The mural is still visible, albeit behind a locked gate and in dire need of some tender loving care. This is a little known piece: it is mentioned in a catalogue of post-war murals compiled by the architectural historian Lynn Pearson, and in a throwaway remark in an auctioneer's catalogue.

It is refreshing to find an area that has been so completely overlooked by "restoration", with very little immediate prospect of this changing. The Low Hall Mill entrance archway is magnificent.

The retreat from Holbeck became marginally psychogeographic: highlights were the car park on the site of John Poulson's International Pool (Poulson was very, and destructively, active in Leeds). Called the International Pool Car Park, this must mystify the increasing numbers of Leeds car drivers who have no recollection of the demolished pool, all traces of which have gone. It's a very fine car park, though.

And a door notice with dubious grammar.

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