Keith Ackerman, Jacob’s Ladder
New sculpture commission for BasementArtsProject
Keith Ackerman’s towering sculpture has transformed a problematic patch of abandoned land in Leeds into the beginnings of a vibrant sculpture garden.
Carved from locally sourced Tadcaster limestone, and having faced lengthy delays due to Covid, Jacob’s Ladder was finally unveiled to the public in summer 2022.
A sculpture long in the making
Back in 2019, we awarded funding to BasementArtsProject’s ambitious On the Corner project. Coinciding with Yorkshire Sculpture International, this involved several artists in a series of exhibitions, residencies and sculpture commissions in a deprived area of Leeds.
All but one of those projects were realised that year. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of Covid, carving on Keith Ackerman’s Jacob’s Ladder had to be put on an extended hiatus.
It was with great joy that we followed along as work on the sculpture began again last year. Finally, in the summer of 2022, the sculpture was craned into position as the centrepiece of a planned sculpture garden, transforming a patch of previously waste ground in Beeston, south Leeds.
In religious texts, ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ represents the connection between earth and the heavens, a dialogue with god.
The ladder also has a secular reading; as a metaphor for aspiration, steps to improvement.
And this is what I hope this sculpture represents; the rebirth of a place of tranquil beauty in a tightly populated area.
Curator of BasementArtsProject