Made In England
Made in England: South Yorkshire
South Yorkshire is an area of contrasts and this is also the case with its arts scene. From the poems of Ian McMillan to the spray can art of Kid Acne and the music of the Artic Monkeys – the area has something for everyone.
Bard of Barnsley Ian McMillan it one of England’s most well known poets. Often written in Yorkshire dialect, McMillan’s poems are both humourous and profound – sometimes within the space of the same line.
Graffiti artist Kid Acne has been spraying the walls of South Yorkshire for almost a decade. Blending graffiti art and hip hop, he has also designed toys, t-shirts and much more. His work has been displayed internationally, and he has had commissioned murals from as far away as Perth and Azerbaijan.
Sheffield cartoonist Pete McKee was recently selected by Noel Gallagher to produce a special limited edition piece of Oasis artwork. Having recently had work exhibited in London and New York, Pete is clearly an artist who is on the up.
Oasis poster © Pete McKee
Art Sheffield is an annual citywide contemporary art festival. It features exhibitions from local and international artists at venues and spaces thought the city. The major galleries in the city include the Millennium Galleries, the Site Gallery and Graves Gallery.
In cinema, Sheffield has been the location for a number of films – the most famous of these being the Full Monty and Brassed Off. The latter was about the Grimethorpe Colliery Band, one of the best in the country and part of South Yorkshire’s brass band tradition.
Sheffield’s musical heritage is extensive. Eighties band the Human League topped the charts, whilst Heaven 17 and ABC formed part of the city’s thriving music scene. Pulp were another Sheffield band that were around in that decade, but it was not until the Britpop era of the mid-nineties that Jarvis Cocker’s band of oddballs and misfits broke through into the hearts of indie-lovers everywhere with Pulp. Cult electronic label Warp Records are also based in Sheffield.
New artists like The Long Blondes, Richard Hawley, Little Man Tate and Reverend and the Makers have achieved recent success, but it’s the Arctic Monkeys that have rewritten the rules of the music industry. The Sheffield band have risen to superstardom and world fame with their blend of great tunes and wry northern wit and charm. They’ve broken countless records and won stacks of awards and done it all on their own terms, staying true to their Sheffield roots.
Made in England
Made in England is a joint partnership between BBC English Regions and Arts Council England to bring audiences and artists together in unique collaborations to provide exciting new cultural experiences.
It is a project dedicated to exploring how England – the place and the people - is expressed through creative and artistic forms.
Think about the Lake District - dramatic and elegant, the lush greens and icy blues depicting an unspoilt England. William Wordsworth was so inspired by the landscape he wrote poems, sonnets and ballads dedicated to it.
Non-traditional art is just as important to recognise - graffiti on the streets, estates built in the Sixties, and even regional accents. Does this architecture, history and culture inspire you to think of all things English?
If you’re bursting with enthusiasm at the thought of creating something - why don’t you see how you can get involved? Visit the main Made in England site to find out how you can get your creative juices flowing.
Ian McMillan's poem about the winds of Yorkshire is as surprising as it is beautiful - you might recognise a few of the draughts he describes.
last updated: 23/04/2008 at 12:08