LEEDS.- Situated in Leeds city centre from 1 - 20 March 2016, THE WEATHER CAFÉ introduces a distinct design world into the public realm by creating natural phenomena water, mist, light and fog in an unexpected setting. Audiences are invited to reflect on their place within the city in this immersive installation that responds to the changing weather of the moment. Inside, the shifting environment evolves as the wind blows, the rain falls and a thick cloud rolls underneath in an ever-changing orchestration of sound and imagery. THE WEATHER CAFÉ acts as a barometer to reflect the emotional climate of the city.
Created by artist David Shearing, THE WEATHER CAFÉ presents the voices of over 100 people living and connected to Leeds. Working together with composer James Bulley and creative technologist Daniel Jones, this multimedia artwork brings the weather elements indoors, creating an unusual and surprising experience for passers-by.
David Shearing comments: THE WEATHER CAFÉ offers a space for contemplation and reflection, a space that is free and open to all. We never really know the stories of those who sit next to us, this project offers an insight into the lives of the people all around us, and asks whether we can build a deeper sense of compassion.
David Shearing is an artist making immersive multimedia experiences. His work operates as a hybrid between fine art and performance practices that challenge audiences to reconsider their relationships to each other and their environment. Last year, as the winner of the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, David created The Weather Machine with West Yorkshire Playhouse and stage@leeds, an evocative multimedia installation for arts venues.
This new work brings together further collaborations, this time with arts and community partners. Working with Leeds-based community organisations to share their stories, collaborators include the socially engaged poetry group, Leeds Young Authors; homeless charity and community Emmaus; creative programme for over 55s Hey Days and community arts organisation Artlink, among others. Groups are working with Shearing to curate and present one off events in the space during its tenancy.
THE WEATHER CAFÉ is a gift, a gift of time, a conversation piece about reflection, isolation and togetherness. Created in partnership with East Street Arts through their temporary spaces programme and funded by Leeds Inspired, this ambitious public artwork is just the first in a series of imaginative public artworks that Shearing will create in future years.
Amy Letman, Producer of THE WEATHER CAFÉ comments: This extraordinary public artwork offers a unique moment for the city and sets a precedent for future projects. This is the first of a series of public interventions David will make in Leeds and shows the transformational potential of artists working in the public realm.
THE WEATHER CAFÉ is open everyday from 1-20 March 2016