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Site Gallery’s On The Road van is nearly ready for a test drive! The white Peugeot Boxer started life as a youth services vehicle at Sheffield City Council. Gifted to Site Gallery in 2016, it has been stripped-out ready for its transformation.

Each stage of the process has been developed and designed collaboratively with Site Gallery’s art collective of 14 – 19 year olds – the Society of Explorers. The group, led by artist architects Public Works, has travelled across the city meeting people, talking and thinking about how the van could be used in various locations as a temporary public art space.

The group have commissioned 4 inspirational artists, designers and makers to add something special and original to the vehicle:

Continental Campers are completing the internal structure, which will soon house a pair of bespoke benches running the length of the interior, a foldaway kitchen and demountable central table. Grey felt walls provide an area for sharing ideas and displaying work.

London based textile designer Georgia Bosson has designed a bespoke set of blinds, allowing for projections inside the van. Georgia is also working on a large canopy and curtains to hang between a trailer and the van, creating a beautiful undercover outdoor events space.

Sheffield based graphic designer Jon Cannon is designing visual decoration and branding for the van, inspired by patterns of road markings and street design.

Metalworker Lukasz Zorek is manufacturing a series of props for flexible use, including cones, flags, steps, tables, and chairs, all housed in a trailer modified so it can be transformed into a workshop space.

Over the next few weeks, each element will be arriving in Sheffield and assembled by Public Works and the Society of Explorers. On Sunday 2 July, we will be taking it out for a test drive to Victoria Quays, where it will be activated for the first time as part of the Floating Cinema programme. Come and celebrate its first outing with us – find out how here.

Image: Detail of On The Road van design, Public Works, 2017.

With thanks to Paul Hamlyn Foundation, and to Sheffield City Council for supplying the van.

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