Marcela Livingston - What If I...?


Marcela Livingston, an artist whose remarkable body of artwork includes pieces which have become Bradford landmarks. Originally from Argentina, Marcela has lived in Bradford since 1988 and works from premises on Sunbridge Road.

'What If I…? How Curiosity Led To Creativity' documented and celebrated Marcela’s extraordinary legacy in creating public artwork around the city of Bradford and beyond. It was a different kind of art exhibition, one where you were free to touch the work.

Dragon School balustrade 1Dragon School balustrade Dragon School PlaqueDragon School Plaque
Dragon School balustrade 2Dragon School balustrade


Marcela Livingston is a designer-maker, public artist, and sculptor. She has over 30 years of experience creating public art with local consultation and teaching design as the core value for community engagement. Originally from Argentina, Marcela has lived in Bradford since 1988 and works from premises in Sunbridge Road.

In 1980 Marcela arrived in London from Buenos Aires and attended the Sir John Cass School of Art, the London College of Printing, and the St. Martin School of Art. Subjects included life drawing, photography, printing techniques, graphic design and illustration. In 1996 she completed a Master’s Degree (MA) at Manchester Metropolitan University in Art as Environment and in 2011 a Diploma in Level 3 Horticulture. More recently she also attended courses in machine knitting and video editing.

Marcela designed holographic foils for advertising before moving to Bradford in 1988 to launch her own business. Her work has spanned a wide range of projects and commissions for both commercial, private and public organizations. These have involved the design and construction of sculptural artworks, as well as other structures that combine pragmatic public use with artistic flair. Her street furniture work includes cast-iron gates, public seating, fencing, security grills, rails and balustrades, signage, and much more.


Riverside Sculpture Park Railings . ‘Thornbirds’, Riverside Sculpture Park Railings


Marcela has worked with a wide range of materials: metal, including iron, steel, brass, and bronze, as well as stone, concrete, and wood, including live willow, plastics and resin. In recent years her designs have also incorporated fibre-optics and LED lighting. 




Commercial clients have included Harvey Nichols, Peter Fiell and Musicworks in London, and the Speke Retail Park, Liverpool.
In the public sector, her work has included commissions for Bradford Council as well as public authorities or publicly funded associations, including housing trusts and educational institutions in London, Liverpool, Rotherham, Manchester, Barnsley, and Wakefield, Gateshead, Pendle, Oxford and Hull.
Central to Marcela’s design philosophy is that art with local involvement offers both personal satisfaction and community benefits. In her experience sharing in the creation of quality art makes everyone proud, improves self-esteem, and contributes to a greater sense of belonging.

An example of this is her 2006 public artwork located off Manchester Road, Bradford. Commissioned by a regeneration partnership for the Living Streets project, Marcela worked with residents and children …to design and make a metal latticework sculpture of an egg inset with fiber optic lights… Marcela said this:

"People said it wouldn’t last because in their experience nothing good has ever survived. But every time I visit, people say they love it and there are seats around it so they can enjoy the changing lights. “We have something other people haven’t got”. Fifteen years on, a local community policewoman often hears locals say “meet you by the egg” and since some like dropping their aluminium cans through the holes, the Council treats it as a recycling collection point!"


The Egg, The Making OfThe Egg, The Making Of
The Egg'The Egg' Sculpture, Bradford


Other works in Bradford include:

Ripleyville SignageSignage for Ripleyville Estate
Geometric SculpturesGeometric Sculptures for Manchester Road and Newby Primary School, Bradford
Folkestone StreetSacpot fabric adds colour on 20+ trees at Folkestone Street, Bradford


Marcela’s main interest has always been in marrying interesting materials with unexpected manufacturing techniques. In her most recent venture, Marcela has taken to market a new product called Sapcots using a fabric she developed for outdoor use. Made in recyclable water-resistant polypropylene, the multi-coloured resilient containers are designed to be filled with soil and moulded to shape, typically to contain plants.




Marcela Livingston Website (External Link)



    13th May to 3rd June 2023


    Marcela Livingston


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