A former cloth mill on the Calder riverside is opening as a new arts and events space.
Caddies Wainwright Mill in Wakefield has been redeveloped by the Hepworth Wakefield to provide a multi-purpose arts centre that will host gigs, art exhibitions and dance performances.
With 650 square metres of space and views across the river, the Calder will extend the gallery's offering to include more live events. The inaugural exhibition features performance works by Roger Hiorns, which will combine a jet engine, park benches and nudity to portray a autobiographical reconstruction of his adolescence.
Gallery curator Gemma Yates explains more about the plans: 'There's something about this space that's very different to the Hepworth. It means artists can do something that's very different in here. There's the history of the building and the more industrial connections that it has. Its not this kind of serene perfect space that we have in the white cubes at the Hepworth. Its completely raw and you can't avoid the history of the building.'
So what will Roger Hiorn's exhibition bring to the Calder?
'Roger is somebody that's really interested in that idea and the idea of connecting different sites across the city. For the opening show we're going to be showing a really large body of work that Roger has created throughout his career with this idea of 'the youth'. Sometimes you think that his work could be slightly autobiographical, he's interested in things he got up to as a teenager and spaces where kids hang out like a park bench or the street corner or behind some garages. He makes these connections to these found objects, so there's park benches and part of a jet that's seen action in Iraq. Some of the structures here are from building sites from concrete that's been poured into holes in the ground.'
The Calder is one of the myriad of 19th century industrial buildings that lined this stretch of the Calder before the river reaches Chantry Bridge, and was used as a textiles warehouse. The buildings have fallen into dereliction but it seems that the promised waterfront spruce up is starting to make good use of these fantastic buildings. Keep an eye on hepworthwakefield.org for the events program and check out the work for yourself, if we keep using these buildings the utilisation of Wakefield's underappreciated heritage can only spread.
The inaugural exhibition Roger Hiorns: Untitled runs from 30 August to 3 November, with more showings and events to come through the year at the Calder in the revamped Caddies Wainwright Mill.