Preview: Thursday 21 September, 6 – 8pm
‘Infrastructure tends to invisibility’, John Durham Peters, The Marvelous Clouds
Located in the foothills of the Peak District, the city of Sheffield is informed by the sense of scale and grandeur of the land on its doorstep. As an area of outstanding natural beauty this land contrasts the city, a site of the urban and the unnatural; and yet two are intimately connected. The city’s water is drawn from the reservoirs here and, historically, trade routes through the land provided food, cloth and building materials. The infrastructural boundaries between city and countryside are blurred. It is possible to walk into the Peaks from the city and the land has seeped into the imaginations of Sheffield artists.
Formation includes works by four artists based in Sheffield – Rose Butler, Ruth Levene, Victoria Lucas and Ian Nesbitt – all exploring the idea of looking. Each work considers mythologies of landscape and the industrial infrastructures that have transformed them for human use. They question notions of beauty and sustainability and the durability of systems we have come to rely on. Whether standing still and observing a phenomena, or walking as a means of creative investigation, each seeks to uncover not only the natural site, but what looking at it might mean. Where does the urban realm end and the countryside begin? What information do we draw from the landscape (peace, threat, the sublime)? What do we project onto it? Is nature simply a resource reserve to support human life, or does it have its own logic?
Formation is part of Making Ways, a new programme supported by Sheffield Culture Consortium through Arts Council England to showcase, celebrate and develop the exceptional contemporary visual art produced in the city.
Abandon Normal Devices Festival is hosted by Peak District National Park and National Trust (Peak District). Supported using public funding by Arts Council England with additional support from BFI, British Council and Sheffield programme partners Site Gallery.
Friday 22 and Saturday 23 September: 12pm – 8pm
Sunday 24 September: 12pm – 5pm
Image 1 above: Victoria Lucas, Lay of the Land
Image 2 below: Ruth Levene, Our Waters