Two exhibitions mark Boxing Day floods in Leeds


Two exhibitions in Armley and Kirkstall Road are being held to mark the anniversary of the Boxing Day floods last year.

The exhibitions – at social enterprise Seagulls Paint and Leeds Indutrial Museum at Armley Mills – will highlight the devastation cause by the unprecedented deluge in the wake of Storm Eva. Both buildings were submerged under several feet of water when the River Aire broke its banks.

Seagulls Paint

Beauty from the Floods is a collaboration between Seagulls and renowned screen printer Jonny Akers, who transformed Seagulls’ original photography from the floods into works of art for an exhibition called Beauty from the Flood.

Seagulls Paint is hosting a floods exhibition from its base. Photo: Emma Bearman
Seagulls Paint is hosting a floods exhibition from its base. Photo: Emma Bearman

The exhibition is Seagulls’ “housewarming” show and the start of a new and exciting venture for the social enterprise. The gallery was opened officially by Leeds City Council Chief Executive Tom Riordan yesterday.

The flood gave the company plenty of opportunities to create some visually beautiful images all created accidentally, as a by-product of the waste or residue of what was left behind.

To accompany the exhibition Seagulls will be running basic screen printing workshops. Members of the public can screen print their own cotton bag with a flood art image for £6.

Screen prints by Jonny Akers will be available for sale and all profits will go towards Seagulls’ volunteer programme: We Grow People.

Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills

One year on from the unprecedented deluge, Leeds Industrial Museum at Armley Mills will be displaying a powerful selection of photos, stories and artwork created by those affected by the floods alongside objects from the museum’s collection.

The exhibition is called Flood Response.

Parts of the historic building, which dates from the 1700s, were submerged under eight feet of water, which forced the museum to close for almost three months while staff undertook a massive clean-up.

A special plaque was unveiled at the museum in May to the mark the exact height the flood waters reached.

Armley mills closed
Armley Mills closed for three months due to the post floods clean up

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, who unveiled the plaque at Armley, said:

“The aftermath of the Boxing Day floods was one of the most challenging times the city has faced for many years and the impact the floods had on the lives of people living and working across Leeds is still being felt today.

“However, it was also a time when the city came together like never before and proved how resourceful and resilient we can be in the face of incredible difficult circumstances, which is something that, as a city, we should be immensely proud of.

“It’s fitting that we should bring together the many different experiences of those who were affected by the floods and mark the first anniversary of what will come to be remembered as an historic chapter in the story of Leeds.”

The exhibition opens on December 9, 2016, and will run until summer 2017.

It will also feature a series of related talks and events that will be advertised during the exhibition’s run.


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