Silvie KoangFRIEZE ALTERNATIVE: SHEFFIELD STREET ARThttp://artyfartyfashionparty.blogspot.com/2013/10/frieze-alternative-sheffield-street-art.htmlMonday, October 21, 2013Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large Are you on a Frieze comedown today? Maybe you're an art world type who spent the l...5
Posted by Bethan Holt, Junior Fashion Editor at Large
Are you on a Frieze comedown today? Maybe you're an art world type who spent the last week in a haze of parties and viewings. Perhaps you dedicated several hours of your weekend to covering the vast exhibition in Regents Park. Or it could just be that your social media feeds will be more freed up for variety today after a long run of posts involving selfies inside Jennifer Rubell's "Portrait of the Artist" open-wombed sculpture. Whatever your Frieze situation, the show's moved on for another year.
So, where to get your next dose of contemporary creativity? May I suggest Sheffield. Unlikely suggestion, I know, given those old hat it's grim up North/ Full Monty stereotypes. But after one of my best friends moved to the city earlier this year, I went to visit her for the weekend and discovered how a cohort of street artists are reclaiming what could be an area of incredibly depressing decaying industrial buildings, mostly former steelworks, as canvases for their work. It helps if you know someone in the area to show you around, but I reckon that if you just walk ten minutes or so from the station to Sidney Street then you will get a good start, with Rocket 01's incredible mural of Charles Darwin. This is probably the most astonishing thing you will see, with the fine details and old portraiture style defying what you might usually expect "street art" to be. The strokes which make up the Darwinian beard seem to be made all the more delicate as they fizzle out from the sturdy, centuries old bricks they are painted onto. Make sure you search out Rocket 01's portrait of David Attenborough (on Charles Street) and also Faunagraphic's (Rocket 01's girlfriend) Harry Brearley mural at the end of Pond Street.
Just across the road from the Charles Darwin, there is an overgrown yard in which stands the bare bones of some old factory where the brick walls have been covered with all manner of graffiti from the very beautiful to the properly lazy vandalism type. It's not so pristine and lovely as a glossy art gallery but treading over broken glass and sidestepping piles of bricks makes the very existence of each work you come across all the more exciting. Once you begin wandering around this area, turning down abandoned little lanes or even just taking the time to look up or round corners, you'll come across dozens of great pieces by artists who are putting down firm roots in Sheffield but also those passing through, like D7606. I wish I'd seen more of Phlegm's precise and haunting work while I was there too. This tumblr is probably your definitive guide to all Sheffield's street art- it's sad to read on there that the council might start destroying it all as part of renovation plans which would be a huge shame. I guess that threat does give you good reason to go sharp-ish though. Unlike Frieze, or any other big organised exhibition, nobody's ever going to give you an "end date".
Here's a quick tumble of my Sheffield snaps. Artists websites at the end...