FILTERS used to cast metal in the steel industry have been turned into a sculpture.

Teesside’s industrial heritage is now a work of art after the new work by Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva was unveiled at Mima’s garden in Middlesbrough.

The sculpture is made from three large ceramic panels used to filter impurities when casting metal. Sounds and stories of local people can be heard when visitors pass the structure.

She worked with William Lane Foundry on the construction of the sculpture and took sound recordings at the RSPB Saltholme nature reserve to form part of the recordings.

The unusual name for the sculpture, HA[SOFT]RD, was inspired by a remark made by Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon, when he was talking to the artist about her piece.

He said: “Middlesbrough’s industrial roots are firmly in iron and steel making, and it’s that pioneering heritage that gave the town its Infant Hercules image at the height of the industrial revolution.

The Northern Echo:

“But the town also has a long tradition of nurturing culture and the arts, from its historic art collection and Mima, to the music, theatre and comedy performed in venues around the town every day of the week.

“Someone once remarked that Middlesbrough people have a hard exterior, but a soft centre, and I think that’s a good description.”