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Wishful Thinking is an immersive sensory exhibition exploring how gallery spaces can best serve young people as a space for reflection, immersion and rest. 

Designed by Society of Explorers, Site Gallery’s arts collective of young people aged 14 – 19,Wishful Thinking comes from the expression of the same name, and how young people feel their wants and desires can wrongly be dismissed as implausible.

Through a series of workshops, the Explorers investigated their hopes for a space that feels like a sanctuary for the mind and spirit in the midst of a chaotic world – as one of the group stated “to zoom out and slow down the swirling and worries in my brain”. 

The group wanted to find ways of altering the space while working sustainably by remixing and reusing materials. Site Gallery has kindly received fabric and cushions from The Design Museum, London, and lighting from Sheffield Theatres to make this possible.

To help them mould their vision for the space, the group enlisted the support of artists Lucie Kordacova and Gregory Herbert. Lucie Kordacova is supporting the group to develop a central play sculpture that acts as a space for rest and reflection, and a series of banners that display some of the group’s provocations and reflections from their workshops in developing the show. Gregory Herbert is working alongside the group to develop a new large-scale dreamscape animation and sound installation that will feature field recordings collected by the Explorers.

There will also be a space for visitors to share their own aspirations for gallery spaces and design their own exhibition floor plans. These will be collected and shared online throughout the exhibition. There will be a public programme of activities to engage with the space including dance and animation workshops to be announced.


Society of Explorers

Site Gallery’s youth collective Society of Explorers have been meeting weekly at the gallery for the past decade. During this time they have been a vital voice in shaping how Site works with young people.

The group of 14-19 year olds collaborate with artists and the Site Gallery team to get involved in the artistic programme, develop projects, events and ideas.

Lucie Kordacova

Lucie Kordacova is a Czech artist and costume maker based in Sheffield UK. Through a largely collaborative practice her work takes the form of site-specific installations, sculptures, moving image and performance. She explores methods of collaboration, alternative education practices and issues that are pertinent to the communities she works within. With a background in textile and costume design, she collaborates with artists and choreographers on costumes for performance and likes to explore traditional textile methods such as weaving, knitting, sewing, embroidery, textile dye; as well as other traditional crafts such as puppetry or toy making.

Lucie’s collaborations include projects in galleries and institutions including South London Gallery, Rowing in London, Stanley Picker Gallery in London, V&A, MMOMA in Moscow, Index in Stockholm, TRAFO Gallery in Prague, A4 Space For Contemporary Culture in Bratislava and Deptford Cinema in London. During 2017-2021 Lucie was a member of resina, a curatorial and artistic collective based across Italy, Sweden and UK organising a month-long international residency in Italy for emerging artists and thinkers.

Gregory Herbert

Gregory Herbert is a British artist based in Liverpool. Working across film and installation, Herbert is broadly interested in collaboration, co-existence and exploring the vast entanglement of interactions that more than human beings have within their environments. Herbert also has a collaborative practice with Niamh Riordan as part of At The Library project Chopping club, Chopping club explores research around reciprocity and sustainability in systems of food production, local food producer and sovereignty networks, and the ways in which food shapes our landscapes and communities.

Gregory Herbert (B.1990) is a former Director of The Royal Standard and completed his MA Fine Art at Manchester Metropolitan University. Herbert’s recent commissions include; Bluecoat, Contours of the earth (2022) Rule of Threes, Winnowing Phase (2022) Sheffield DocFest, Exchange programme, Making-With (2021) and FACT, Together, We Are Symbiotic (2020). Recent exhibitions include Climate. Emergency. Hope at Turnpike Gallery, Leigh (2023); Archives at Play at Castlefield Gallery, Manchester (2022); Earth Eaters at Cole Projects, Hoxton 253 Project Space, London (2020); The Cucumber Fell in the Sand at Humber Street Gallery, Hull (2019); MA Degree show, HOME, Manchester (2019).

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