Video: First look at Leeds’s new major artwork The Weather Café

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A NOVEL new city centre venture is set to go down a storm with art lovers in search of a meteorological masterpiece.

The Weather Café brings the outdoors indoors – come rain or shine.

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The major new public artwork comes complete with wind, rain and cloud, created through sound composition, design and digital technology.

The free ‘immersive experience’ launches today and aims to offer a space for people to contemplate and reflect.

Producer Amy Letman said: “The elements inside respond to the weather outside, so it reflects the feeling of the city.

“It is the idea of creating extraordinary, unique spaces that people can just stumble across.

Lydia Cottrell is pictured watering the moss wall at the Weather Cafe. Pics: James Hardisty.

Lydia Cottrell is pictured watering the moss wall at the Weather Cafe. Pics: James Hardisty.

“It provides a really unusual moment in people’s ordinary lives.”

She added: “This is the first of a series of public interventions David will make in Leeds and shows the transformational potential of artists working in the public realm.”

Visitors can hear the voices of more than 100 Leeds people via headphones, with each person telling their own story.

The stories include recordings by Leeds Young Authors, homeless charity Emmaus and community arts organisation Artlink.

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Located on The Headrow, opposite Leeds Art Gallery, the café has been put together by award-winning artist David Shearing. He said: “The Weather Café offers a space for contemplation and reflection, a space that is free and open to all.

“We never really know the stories of those who sit next to us.

“This project offers an insight into the lives of the people all around us, and asks whether we can build a deeper sense of compassion.”

The café has been created with support from East Street Arts and funding from Leeds Inspired.

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Karen Watson, artistic director at East Street Arts, said: “East Street arts is delighted that David has made Patrick Studios his base.

“We have been working closely with him to support his practice and this new and exciting venture.”

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