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Guided Galvanize walk
Sheffield has always been famous for its world class steel and silversmiths. David Stevenson went on the walking tour through Sheffield's 'Gold Route' in November 2008.
Start: Sheffield station
End: Winter Garden/ Peace Gardens
Notes: The information on this page about the Guided Galvanize walk was correct when the walk took place in November 2008. After this, some of the points of interest will still be there but some will have been removed.
Via: Howard St, Paternoster Row, Sheffield Artspace, Arundel St, Millennium Galleries, Winter Garden, Peace Gardens
It was a busy hustle and bustle afternoon with commuters outside the station as the sun glistened down one day in November 2008 on the fountains.
Across from this visual delight was our first port of call; the 80 metre stainless steel 'Cutting Edge' sculpture. Resembling a blade, it separates the travelling commuters from the ever bounding traffic on the opposite Sheaf Street.
Standing tall in the midday sun this impressive work of art - designed and created by Chris Knight, Brett Payne and Keith Tyssen - looked more like a sheet of gold as the rays reflected off the panels and the water trickled down.
We made our way past the hissing fountains on the left and the Cutting Edge sculpture on the right. We cross the road and make our way to the city centre via the steep hill which is Howard Street, ahead at the top is Sheffield Hallam University is on the right.
In fact that was our next stop, because written on the side of Hallam University's Owen Building is a poem by the Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, "What If?"
You may or may not have noticed shiny stainless steel letters on the side of the building. Andrew Motion's 'writing on the wall' was commissioned in 2007 as a piece for "Off the Shelf - Text in the City." It's eye-catching for travellers coming into Sheffield from the station and you frequently see people stop to read the poem or take a photo.
Howard Street – the steep hill up towards town - has several steels bins and square chairs – but these are not just any street furniture; the metal objects were commissioned and designed by Jerry and (the late) Brian Asquith.
Emma Paragreen, one of the tourguides on my walk told me about them: "The idea is that eventually these pieces of street furniture will have names of influential people in the city on them, commemorating the likes of Benjamin Huntsman, inventor of crucible steel or Harry Brearley, the inventor of stainless steel and a Master Cutler."
From Howard Street we walked back downhill to take a look at the four steel kettles, ‘The Hub,' on Paternoster Row.
The building was originally created as the National Centre for Popular Music which opened in March 1999. It's now the Sheffield Hallam University Students' Union, clad in stainless steel panelling.
After passing this iconic structure we headed to the Yorkshire Artspace Society at Persistence Works on Brown Street, which is home to over 75 artists, silversmiths and metalworkers.
Exit3 at Yorkshire Artspace (until December 2008)
The work of Sarah Denny and Rebecca Joselyn was on display in November and December 2008.
I noticed beautifully polished swirls throughout one of the pieces of Sarah's Britannia silver work. She told me how long it took her to create her pieces.
"I'd like to say it took a month but it probably took a bit longer, closer to a month and a half… but there are always problems that you face. Near the end it can be a very anxious time, but it all came together."
Rebecca Joselyn's work stands alongside Sarah Denny's. Joselyn has taken inspiration from everyday objects such as crisp wrappers, crushed milk cans and ring pulls to turn them into beautiful steel expressions of their physical self – definitely worth a look.
Click on the link below to see pieces from the 2008 Galvanize festival, including Rebecca Joselyn and Sarah Denny's work:
The new Sheffield Hallam
Next stop is Sheffield Hallam's new Furnival Building on Arundel Street - home to jewellery and silversmith students who had previously been at the Psalter Lane campus (formerly Sheffield Art College).
Over the road and across from the Furnival Building is the Butcher Works exhibited "Savour" which celebrates the ceremony and pleasure of eating with works from the Academy of Makers and Freeman College.
I met Carole Baugh, Arts Co-Ordinator at Freeman College Ruskin Mill Educational Trust who gave me a guided tour.
One thing I noticed while looking at the pieces was the high standard and unique finishes on display. To the naked eye it was difficult to distinguish from works created by the professionals and students. Carole Baugh agrees: "I defy anybody to come in here and be able to distinguish the work between a student and a professional. I think the one outstanding feature of the exhibition, is the quality of student work. It's phenomenal."
Millennium Galleries (until December 2008)
A short walk into town from Arundel Street is the Millennium Galleries, attached to the Winter Garden.
2008 Punch cup designed by Katey Felton
Sarah Stevenson's “Little Gems 4” was on display in the lower foyer of the Millennium Galleries, and she was also given the honour of creating the 2008 Civic Commission, which was unveiled to the Lord Mayor on 19th November 2008 and will be on display in Sheffield Town Hall's prestigious collection of metal work, which is open to the public.
A Millenium Bowl and Punch Cup is commissioned every year, so make sure you take a look at this year's piece.
The Hoody (until December 2008)
The Winter Garden was home to three new art additions during the November and December 2008. My guide Sara introduced me to a friend of the Galvanize Festival as we walked through... 'Hoody' by Robin Dobson.
This specially commissioned piece was made from welded plate steel and could perhaps be mistaken for someone sitting on a bench.
Positioned at one side of a long bench, 'Hoody' was designed for people to come and sit with him and to send a more positive message out about 'the hoodies.' He’s certainly an attention-seeker, lots of people wouldn't pass by without having a photograph alongside him first.
Fine design (until December 2008)
Next up, a short walk through the Winter Garden via the Peace Gardensand into the foyer of the St. Paul’s Hotel, which showcased 'Fine Design from Sheffield Hallam', an ornate display of many of the newer commissions by the University, most notably the St Leger Trophy which is presented to the winner of the St Leger at Doncaster Racecourse.
Galvanize Sheffield's 'Gold Route' is not a long walk, but it is crammed with historical facts and a real insight in public art exhibits created by Sheffield's silversmiths and metalworkers.
last updated: 12/01/2009 at 12:01