An historic building that played a pivotal part in Leeds’ industrial heritage has been given a new lease of life thanks to an art exhibition.
The engine house of a former pin factory at Tower Works will host French artist Mathieu Abonnenc’s exhibition, ‘An Italian Film (Africa Addio)’.
The free exhibition will give the public a chance to see the iconic Grade II-listed building for the very first time.
Tower Works was built in 1864 and produced steel pins for carding and combing in the textile industry.
Its three Italian-style towers can have become a distinctive landmark of the Leeds skyline over the years.
The engine house, which was key during the 19th and 20th Century industrial era, still has many of its original features including a series of circular glazed bronze plaques, each featuring an influential figure in the textile industry.
One includes the founder of Tower Works, T.R. Harding.
The exhibit will include a film that explores the use of copper crosses as currency in the Congo before being looted and sent to Europe during the Industrial Revolution.
It will be projected on a wall of the engine house and will run alongside an installation made from some of the original copper crosses, which have now been melted down and formed into minimalist shapes.
The exhibition has been commissioned by Leeds visual arts organisation Pavilion and organised alongside Tower Works’ estate management company Creative Space Management and its owner, the Homes and Communities Agency.
Paul Taylor, director at Creative Space Management, said: “We are happy to re-open its doors for such a fitting installation.
“It will be fascinating to see the engine house become the beating heart of the site again.”
Gill Park, director at Pavilion, said: “Holbeck was at the centre of Leeds’ industrial revolution and Mathieu thinks the space is perfect and ties in with the industrial theme.
“It is really important to bring international artists to Leeds as well as support our own.”
The exhibition runs from October 4 to December 21. For details or to book, visit www.pavilion.org.uk.