By Lucy Key @falsefreedxm
A research report, entitled “ART”, conducted by The University of Sheffield has stated that Sheffield has “the most artists outside of London”.
But what is it about the North that captures the hearts of printmakers and spray painters and makes them never want to leave?
Sheffield is a strange city; one with an arduous history of steel making and industry.
However, travel a few miles South-West and you will find the craggy horizons of the Peak District.
Polar opposites, but the most harmonious of relationships nonetheless.
The report states that art studios in Sheffield collectively turnover more than £1million a year and 80% of research in art and design at Sheffield Hallam university is regarded as world leading.
With 2011 Northern Art Prize winner, Haroom Mirza dubbing Sheffield’s industrial past as “ideal”, it’s unsurprising that so many artists take up residency here.
Studios and canvas’ aside, going back to sheffield’s industrial past, a new wave of art is emerging – street art.
It’s impossible to walk around the Steel City without noticing it’s colourful walls and strange tags.
Meg Mundy, 20, student, said: “Most of us walk past it everyday without really acknowledging it, but we would all miss the murals and paintings if they weren’t there.”
Elusive as ever, the world of street art is an enigma and most likely always will be.
Often taking up residence in derelict buildings stemming from Sheffield’s industrial past, graffiti can appear and disappear in the same day.
In an interview with Shefnews, street artist, Colloquix said: “There are so many places in Sheffield that have been ignored for years, decades in some cases. and those you don’t want to mess with in any way shape or form, but there are derelicts that have been decorated with real love.”
Impressively, the Millennium Gallery is the most popular free attraction in the North of England – Just one of many highlights Sheffield has to offer.
Kate Burt, 49, a regular visitor to Sheffield said: “Some of the best art I’ve seen is in Sheffield and it should be preserved – I love it.”
With an art culture that looks set to continue flourishing, here’s to Sheffield’s relationship with art being as strong as it’s steel.