The Tetley is a new Contemporary Art Gallery which is housed in the old site of the Tetley Brewery – and it’s open NOW! Yes – It’s the launch this weekend and there are some fabulous events listed. A few weeks ago I was invited to a preview arranged by the cities blogging guru’s The Culture Vultures.
I arrived on a dark and wet November evening to meet fellow bloggers and tweeters who I had never met before. We were ushered out of the cold and into an modern shiny bar area and offered a glass of wine as we waited for the rest of the bloggers to arrive – a nice welcome. Meanwhile the staff were busily getting ready for an event later that evening and the grand opening which is this weekend. There was definitely an exciting feel in the air. Ladders were propped against an unfinished wall and I got the sense there was still a lot to do before this weekend’s opening.
We were divided into groups for our tour of the site. The architect who was responsible for the impressive transformation led our group – which was fantastic. We started downstairs and checked out the restaurant area, which looked impressive and atmospheric. It had retained the style of the workers canteen with low lighting, big chunky institutional radiators and functional looking salt and pepper pots placed on the table. (Can’t wait to try the food!)
The Tetley isn’t a listed building which surprised me. The architects however took this into consideration and ensured that they protected the original features as much as possible. In fact the old Art Deco lift was still functioning. (Although it won’t be in use.)
The stairs were open and there was a huge excavated space behind them which the architect described as a canvas wall. This open space was the main architectural project and everything else he described as a restoration project. I have to say I loved the open space and the contrast it gave to the smaller rooms.
Surrounding the canvas wall was a gallery of little rooms. ‘It’s no Barbara Hepworth Wakefield,’ the architect informed us. They had decided against the sterile – It was designed to be conducive to creativity. The rooms had original features left in place such as fire places, wood panel walls with wooden draws and old windows which were not repainted. It made me feel like I wanted to play – there was something about the lack of sterility that made me feel much more connected to the building, the history seemed more apparent along with a sense of people who had been here before.
Oh and the Art – What kind of Art is to be shown? I was told contemporary, experimental – cutting edge. It certainly has a creative feel and is inviting. To find out visit The Tetley.
The Tetley is open …..NOW.
Thank you to The Culture Vultures, The Tetley, and The Architect.