On 24th November, 2023, a new addition was brought to Aire Park—the Hibiscus Rising sculpture. Visible right next to aql’s iconic headquarters, Salem Chapel, the impressive piece lays testament to community spirit, growth, and inspiration, values shared and echoed both by aql as a whole and by our founder Professor Adam Beaumont.
Hibiscus rising is at once a testament and memorial to David Oluwale, a Nigerian immigrant who tragically died following racist harassment from the Leeds police force in 1969, while being a symbol of the city’s growth and change since. Created by Yinka Shonibare CBE, the striking 9.5 meter sculpture takes the form of a hibiscus, a ubiquitous flower in Nigeria, covered with colourful African-inspired batik patterns.
aql’s vision of creating a connected society and pushing the boundaries of technology aligns seamlessly with the ideas of inclusivity and growth that formed the key inspiration behind Hibiscus Rising. Both the sculpture and aql.com share a dedication to innovation, inclusivity, and sustainable growth.
As Leeds continues to strengthen its presence as one of the UK’s leading technological and cultural hubs, Hibiscus Rising embodies the city’s forward momentum, growth, and its community, values that aql echoes and is committed to upholding.