Festivals and exhibitions celebrate art in Sheffield

By Ellena Rowlin


A citywide festival has been celebrating the art culture in Sheffield, with events taking place in many locations looking back at the history of the city.

Art Sheffield 2016 comes to the city every two years, each time with a different theme.

This year’s festival, Up, Down, Top, Bottom, Strange and Charm, explores the political, social, cultural and material histories of Sheffield and it’s peculiar title refers to the six particles that make up any kind of matter.

The work shown is by international artists, as well as three new pieces made especially for the festival by three British artists. All of the art is moving image or sound, and each artist has their own single location that only they occupy. This gives a feel of a physical journey between each venue and each collection of work.

Sheffield’s famous material histories, like steel, manufacturing and industry, are also woven into the exhibition through the way that the Victorian architecture disappears as you travel round the buildings.

The festival also bought bank holiday fun over the weekend with an exhibition called Shut up! See Art! taking place at the Millennium Gallery and the S1 Art space near the Sheffield Hallam University campus in the heart of the city.

Martin Clark is this year’s curator of the festival, and has a very personal connection with the city.

Charlotte Morgan, one of the Festival Producers, spoke to Shef News at the Portland Works, one of the exhibition venues, where an intriguing empty room was filled with distorted noise for one of the artist’s pieces.

She said: “Martin’s approach to it combined quite a broad tapestry of ideas. What was born out of the era we are looking at was really ground-breaking developments in video editing and video art and also electronic music in the city.

“He didn’t want it to be a sentimental or nostalgic look at the past, it was looking at how those changes became relevant for the whole world of artistic practices.”

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