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Things I’ve Seen – Going Public, Sheffield.

In the midst of preparing, installing and maintaining Speculative Studio Spaces I have also been able to do something I rarely do – Go out and actually look at a bit of art.

It’s a rarity for a couple of reasons. For one, the idea of actually going out and seeing work is often jostling for position on a never ending to-do list, and alas, is usually something I can omit. Not least because I don’t tend to draw inspiration from an exhibition. Rather, it tends to emerge from philosophy, psychology, poetry, video games, or is informed by research into industries my practice covers, such as food and fragrance.

Not that I’m making excuses. Visiting exhibitions is very valuable for the artist, as it reinforces thought processes, allows you to assess the accessibility of your own practice and allows you to gain an understanding of your place within the art world relative to others. Not to mention the social benefits. I do wish I went to more stuff and will seek to in the future.

But one thing I have seen over the last two weeks, is an exhibition spanning various spaces in Sheffield, named Going Public.

Going Public seeks to raise awareness of art collections and make them more accessible, as well as provide insight into how and why collections are founded and maintained. 4 collections are represented over 5 venues. and so far I have seen all venues bar one.

The Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Collection found at Sheffield Cathedral impressed, and got me thinking about art in relation to the space it occupies. It got me thinking of producing scent sculptures, which would only really be defined – and totally dependent – on space. In terms of providing me with thought in relation to my on practice, Sheffield Cathedral’s exhibits delivered.

The DSL collection – that includes major pieces by contemporary Chinese artists – found at SIA Gallery and Site gallery also intrigued. Though I feel perhaps a little too far removed from their original context. The exhibition at SIA in particular feels a little isolating and impenetrable. Though again there is a level of accessibility that should be applauded.

Hovever, it’s the The Cattelain Collection at Millenuim Gallery that stands out the most. I loved it, actually! From a considered treatment of light to a grand textile piece, each work displays an affinity between artist and material; something to consider for me when investigating and experimenting with perfumery. Curated with a quiet harmony and with a playful level of interaction, I’d heartily recommend this to anyone.

In fact, I’d recommend the whole of Going Public. While some collections sit more pertinently in their spaces then others, each collection offers something different, while retaining the principles of collections and public accessibility.

Going Public is on around Sheffield until 12th December.

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