Floods inspire floating artwork

People can enjoy free boat trips in west Leeds aboard a floating work of art inspired by the Boxing Day floods.

Friday, 1st July 2016, 12:47 pm
Updated Friday, 1st July 2016, 1:52 pm
Floating work of art 'Caddis'.

The craft named ‘Caddis’ is a response to the flooding, particularly its impact on the Kirkstall Road area, and was created as part of a project, Flotsam and Jetsam, by social enterprise Playful Leeds.

Over a nine-day residency by two boats, more than 1,000 people will step aboard for trips on the Leeds and Liverpool Canal - some of which will be to thank those who helped to clean-up in the aftermath of the floods.

Project manager Marie Millward said: “The Leeds and Liverpool Canal celebrates the 200th anniversary of its completion this year, so this has been a special project on the canal to mark this special year and to mark a landmark event in Leeds’ history - the highest water levels on the River Aire ever recorded. That event spurred a remarkable response from local people and we wanted to find a way to record that, to say ‘thank you’ and to get people together on boats for a convivial time.”

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Stories, drawings, recollections and data about the flooding have been etched onto tiles which form a covering over an acrylic canopy for Caddis operated by community boat charity, Safe Anchor Trust.

People can take a ride on the boat inside the artwork, which also includes patterns from data collected about the flood. The artwork’s design takes inspiration from a caddis fly, an underwater creature which builds a tube-shaped structure from items it finds in its local environment to protect part of its body. The project is funded by Leeds City Council via Leeds Inspired with support from Safe Anchor Trust.

Free boat trips will run this weekend, from 10.30am to 4pm, at Armley Mills Leeds Industrial Museum today and at TCV Hollybush in Kirkstall tomorrow.