Wakefield's history to get covered by artist

The new cover for the historic watermill in Wakefield city centre.
The new cover for the historic watermill in Wakefield city centre.

A historic part of Wakefield waterfront is to be protected with a new cover designed by a professional artist with help from the area's community groups.

Commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield and funded by Wakefield Council, the artwork has been designed and produced to continue preserving the 19th century watermill on the River Calder opposite the gallery.

Yorkshire-based artist Dawn Woolley, who is currently working as an engagement artist with Yorkshire Sculpture International, was selected by the gallery and Wakefield Council to work with community groups on the project, which had a particular focus on the development of the wider site, including The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.

The design was developed using work produced with the groups, including The Hepworth Wakefield’s Art Social programme and groups from Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service.

During workshops people created a series of sculptures made out of recyclable materials that were then photographed and creatively arranged onto the wrap by Dawn.

Rachel Craddock, Communities Manager, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for us to commission and work with an artist from the Yorkshire region. It also allows us to showcase

on a huge scale some of the art work created by diverse mix of participants from across Wakefield.

"Whilst the area around The Hepworth Wakefield is being developed and bringing new life to this side of the Calder, it is important to acknowledge and preserve the industrial heritage that Wakefield waterfront is steeped in.

"This project is an excellent opportunity to merge the old with the new. We are extremely grateful to Wakefield Council for providing the funds to allow Dawn to create a cover that is inspiring and lets the creativity of Wakefield be seen”

Denise Jeffery, Cabinet Member for Economic Growth and Regeneration at Wakefield Council, said: "The specially designed building wraps have proven to be an effective method

of ensuring the continuing preservation of this important listed building.

"This new cover will not only continue to protect the watermill but with the addition of this thoughtful and imaginative design, created in part by local communities, will make a positive contribution to the conservation area.

"It also reinforces the aims of Yorkshire Sculpture International of supporting local artists and connecting our community with the incredible artistic heritage of Wakefield”.