Once branded by George Orwell as “the ugliest town in the Old World”, Sheffield’s past and its cultural present are founded on one thing: the steel industry. During the 19th century, Sheffield witnessed explosive growth, the city we see today shaped by its industrial prosperity of old. So its leafy suburbs, for example, were purposely built up hill so that domestic residences would sit above the smog-blanketed centre of foundries and furnaces.
The cutlery works of Sheffield’s past have found new purpose in driving forward the city’s creative life; many now house galleries, independent shops and artist studios. Sheffield’s current status as the country’s greenest city is also, in some incongruous way, due to its industrial heritage: open spaces like the Botanical Gardens were designed to offer Victorian residents a much-needed breath of fresh air. While other cities bustle between high rises and shopping precincts, Sheffield is a place to pause and look around, whether inwards from its hillsides, over spires, chimneys and curling valleys, or outwards from the city centre, to the breeze and birdsong of the moorland that continues to inspire so many artists, designers and makers.
Site Gallery in Sheffield reopens with LIQUID CRYSTAL DISPLAY – a glittering new exhibition that responds to the ‘crystal era’ we now live in.
Construction House is a six-month programme of commissions, exhibitions, events and activities by S1 Artspace studio holders, which will explore the role, possibilities and responsibilities of collective artistic activity today.
For over four decades Sheffield-based photojournalist Martin Jenkinson chronicled the drama and detail of our everyday lives. Discover his work as part of ‘Who We Are: Photographs by Martin Jenkinson’ at Weston Park Museum.