City of Rivers at Weston Park Museum

Maja Lorkowska, Exhibitions Editor
14. R Hudson, Brook Scene, Endcliffe Woods. Image © Sheffield Museums

City of Rivers at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield Until 3 November 2024 Entrance is free — Visit now

Weston Park Museum’s new exhibition City of Rivers celebrates Sheffield as a water city, shaped by the rivers that mould and sculpt the surrounding landscape and local industry.

The show features over 300 artworks and found objects brought together to explore the city’s waterways and their impact. The display includes more traditional artworks such as paintings and poems but also found objects pulled from the rivers themselves.

City of Rivers works as a collection of stories that chart the history of Sheffield’s waterways and the community’s relationship to them, by drawing on contributions from the city’s residents. This includes efforts by eco-activists to restore the rivers and improve biodiversity.

Wild swimmer Rachel Heley provided some items from her swim brand while the Sheaf and Porter Rivers Trust, who work to restore and improve access to two of Sheffield’s most famous waterways, have contributed items found in the rivers, from oyster shells to a lost BlackBerry. 

Composer Benjamin Tassie has created a set of experimental instruments which can be played by the river itself. He describes it as a soothing experience of interacting with River Rivelin, attempting to collaborate with nature while not dominating sound. 

Viewers will also find a metal topographical map of Sheffield by artist Holly Clifford, with the rivers hand engraved and filled with silver leaf. 

City of Rivers also aims to raise the profile of the so-called Rivelin Valley artists, the now mostly forgotten group of landscape painters from the last century who created romanticised snapshots of the industrial River Rivelin, having created an artists colony based in the area. The artists included Robert Scott-Temple who is perhaps the most famous of the group, as well as William R E Goodrich, Ben Baines, Charles Edwin Dyson, Vernon Edwards and Charles Pigott. Their post-WWI compositions capture the ways in which the industrial intertwined with the natural in the landscape.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a number of events, including a talk in January on a sense of place in relation to rivers by the River Stewardship Company, as well as training sessions in river stewarding skills for children.

City of Rivers at Weston Park Museum, Sheffield Until 3 November 2024 Entrance is free Visit now

Where to go near City of Rivers at Weston Park Museum

Bar stock image
Bar or Pub
Two Sheds

Have a pint with your puppy this evening! Two Sheds is a dog friendly micro-pub in Sheffield serving craft beers and real ales.

Drama Studio Sheffield
Drama Studio Sheffield

Part of The University of Sheffield, the 19th century Baptist Church was converted into a theatre in 1970 and is a unique, inspiring and atmospheric space.

Film Unit

Film Unit is a professional quality, independent cinema located deep within the University of Sheffield Students’ Union which has been entertaining the people of Sheffield for over 65 years.

Music Venues in Sheffield.
Music venue
The Harley

You’ll always find a warm welcome at The Harley, a venue that introduced audiences to soon-to-be-huge acts such as Arctic Monkeys and The xx. This 200-capacity venue shut down in…

University of Sheffield
Centre for Poetry and Poetics
at University of Sheffield

The Centre for Poetry and Poetics (CPP) brings together those fascinated by poetry both in and out of Sheffield, including academics, poets, publishers, students and readers. It comprises faculty from the University of Sheffield, alongside Sheffield-based poets, presses and other affiliates.

Food and drink in Sheffield
Kelham Island
Cutlery Works

With a range of 12 hand-selected food vendors, all under one roof, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s palate at the Cutlery Works, Sheffield.

What's on: Exhibitions

Culture Guides

Music in Manchester and the North

Fresh concert seasons, forward-thinking festivals and a revolving door of amazing gigs. Things are looking bright as spring comes into view.

Exhibitions in Manchester and the North

February is a month of love so art lovers in the North - rejoice! There is lots to choose from: two photography festivals, gorgeous crafts and shows celebrating local talent.