West Leeds: Mill tales showcase is illuminating minds

Memories of light exhibition at the Leeds Industrial Museum..Lis Tempest looks at the work by Artist David Bridges the Light sculpture named 'Waves'..SH10014207j..30th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme
Memories of light exhibition at the Leeds Industrial Museum..Lis Tempest looks at the work by Artist David Bridges the Light sculpture named 'Waves'..SH10014207j..30th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme
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The stories of former mill workers are being told through a unique light sculpture exhibition at Leeds Industrial Museum.

Memoria: Memories of Light at the former Armley Mills features a series of lit porcelain sculptures.

Memories of light exhibition at the Leeds Industrial Museum..Artist David Bridges pictured with his Light sculpture names 'Wings'..SH10014207b..30th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

Memories of light exhibition at the Leeds Industrial Museum..Artist David Bridges pictured with his Light sculpture names 'Wings'..SH10014207b..30th July 2015 Picture by Simon Hulme

The exhibition is part of a wider Arts Council England project that aims to unlock the creative potential of museums through collaborations with the visual arts.

For his latest project, artist David Bridges has taken inspiration from the stories of people who worked in Armley Mills when it was a working mill. The four sculptures are being exhibited in unlit, unusual areas of the mill, including places that have previously never been seen by the visiting public.

Memoria runs until October 4 and a number of participatory events and activities are being organised to co-incide with it.

Mr Bridges explained: “After a chance recommendation I visited Leeds Industrial Museum. I wondered about the people who worked here, and that became such a powerful draw that everything since has radiated out from that.

Artist David Bridges looks at his light sculpture 'Waves'. PIC: Simon Hulme

Artist David Bridges looks at his light sculpture 'Waves'. PIC: Simon Hulme

“The project has reached out to families of people who worked at the mill and this has helped create an archive for Armley Mills. I’m delighted Memoria has unlocked so many previously unheard stories of the mill and I’d like to take this opportunity to thank New Expressions and Leeds Museums and Galleries for all their support.”

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council and executive member for economy and culture, said: “This exhibition, as part of the national programme New Expressions, is a very moving and powerful concept- using art and light to unlock some of the untold stories behind our city’s fascinating industrial heritage.

“As we look ahead to our bid to be named European Capital of Culture 2023, it’s important that as part of that, we recognise and pay tribute to our past and the people who helped lay the foundations of the great city we live in today.

Volunteers recruited as part of the Memoria project. helped trace and track workers from Armley Mills locally who were contacted and asked to share their memories. These meetings and conversations with Bridges inspired Memoria and its illuminated porcelain light sculptures titled Waves, Aerial, Wing and Gleam.

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