Leeds nostalgia: Mini to be deconstructed and then rebuilt as part of art show

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The shell of a classic British Mini is on display at Leeds Art Gallery as part of a unique contemporary art project.

The Mini is among some of the eye-catching exhibits at British Art Show 8 and has been taken apart by artist Stuart Whipps for his innovative work The Kipper and the Corpse.

The car was originally manufactured in 1979, the year Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister and an estimated 12.5m working days were lost to industrial action.

The project sees the chassis of the Mini displayed in the upper galleries at Leeds Art Gallery. The work will be undertaken in collaboration with ex-workers from the Longbridge factory in Brimingham, with the ambition that the car be fully restored by the time British Art Show 8 reaches its final destination of Southampton.

Through his work on The Kipper and the Corpse, Stuart Whipps said he had treated the examination of the car like archaeology.

Councillor Brian Selby, Leeds City Council’s lead member for museums and galleries, said: “One of the most inspiring things about British Art Show has been the extraordinary breadth of work.

“The participating artists have brought some exciting and innovative creations to Leeds that have captured the imaginations of thousands of visitors.

“This shell of this classic car is a really evocative piece that taps into something fundamentally British and stirs up memories of what was a very different time for the whole country.”