Artistic wrap for watermill at The Hepworth

03/06/2019, PR-9068

A nineteenth-century watermill, situated next to the river Calder opposite The Hepworth Wakefield, is to be protected with a new building wrap designed by artist Dawn Woolley and community groups from across the district.

The artwork has been commissioned by The Hepworth Wakefield and funded by Wakefield Council, the wrap has been designed and produced to continue preserving the historic listed watermill.

Yorkshire-based artist Dawn Woolley, who is currently working as an engagement artist with Yorkshire Sculpture International (the largest festival to celebrate sculpture in the UK), was selected by the gallery and Wakefield Council for a standout proposal that took into consideration the merging of historical context, environment and nature. A main focus was to recognise the heritage of the watermill building whilst taking into account the development of the wider surrounding site, including The Hepworth Wakefield Garden.

The design was developed using work produced in workshops with community groups in Wakefield, including The Hepworth Wakefield's Art Social programme and groups from Wakefield Adult and Community Education Service. During these workshops, the participants worked to create a series of sculptures made out of recyclable materials responding to the theme that was then photographed and creatively arranged onto the wrap by Dawn Woolley. 

Wrap for water mill opposite The Hepworth
The design created by artist Dawn Woolley

Rachel Craddock, Communities Manager said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for us to commission and work with artists from the Yorkshire region. It also allows us to showcase on a huge scale some of the artwork created by local communities even further as we develop ideas from a 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 wrap 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, The Hepworth Gallery and The Hepworth Wakefield Garden and makes a significant contribution to the start of the Yorkshire Sculpture International Festival. The historic watermill is part of the Victorian Industrial site of Rutland Mills, which are the subject of exciting regeneration proposals."