An Update on Building Activity

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The Corn Exchange first opened its doors one day in July, 1863. Lately, it’s been changing.

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Over the summer, Leeds-based contractors Dobson’s have been working behind the scenes, improving access to the building, refurbishing toilet facilities, designing visual elements and much more. They have also been preparing spaces for creative intervention and collaborations, including audio and light installations, digital innovations, design, art and more.

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One of these creative interventions is the entrance lobby; the new home to a contemporary light and sound installation. The artwork, called “The Course of Days”, was created by Output Arts — a partnership between artist Andy D'Cruz and artist/technologist Jonathan Hogg, who create immersive audiovisual installations that draw on natural environmental conditions and phenomena. “The Course of Days” applies cutting-edge digital technology to explore the changing seasons and the rhythms of passing time. The piece uses gathered field recordings spanning the year and combines these with a palette of animated light and colour to reflect the dynamism of the British weather, the clamour of the animal kingdom and the pulse of rural human activity. It will be available to view for the next 1-2 years.

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Another transformed space is the inner circle that divides the ground and lower ground yard; now the home to words by Leeds poet Ma Maposa, that have been hand painted by a local Kirkgate signwriter.

“Surpass your IMARGIN” reminds us to be imaginative and push our boundaries outside our iPhones, and other screens. Georgina Maud of Rushbond says: “Ma’s words mark a new chapter for the Corn Exchange. The inspiring poem reminds us what is possible, what we can create, what our creations are capable of achieving through collaboration and human exchange. Something magical happens in a place like this. The Corn Exchange is a body getting ready to embrace changing trends, to welcome informed, experience-seeking visitors. ‘Our past shapes our future’ and it is this significant heritage that we can collectively innovate to ensure that the Corn Exchange is the top destination in Leeds.”

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The ground floor pair of staircases have become an exciting backdrop for rotating designs by talented creatives.

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Each of the Corn Exchange’s tenants have selected new colours for their shop doors to reflect their unique brand and individual offering, adding vibrancy to the building overall.

The physical work taking place marks the next chapter for the Corn Exchange; come for a visit to see the changes that are happening.

“Our past shapes our future. Block by block we build firm foundations that turn into skyscrapers. From humble beginnings, big ideas, visions turned into real life features.

We are the makers, we are the creators. Dream big surpass your imargin, it all stops when you stop moving, so keep on grinding.

Live how you dream, dream how you want to live. You can I can we all can. It all starts with your imagination.” — Ma Maposa

Jennifer Lee O'Brien