Sheffield celebrates its makers

Sheffield is renowned as a city built on cutlery and steel, but how many people know what’s being made in Sheffield right now?

2016 has been declared the ‘Year of Making’ in Sheffield, celebrating the city’s past, present and future as a hub for makers with an international reputation for excellence and innovation. While the city’s industrial past is still crucial to its identity, the Year aims to bring up-to-date the conversation about making in Sheffield, shedding light on the numerous, diverse things that locals are proud to say are Made in Sheffield.

The Year of Making is centred around five themes: Art and Design, Manufacturing and Industry, Film and Literature, Heritage and Place-making, Music and Performance. In partnership with Sheffield University, Year of Making has so far commissioned thirteen projects selected via a number of open calls. Here’s a first look at some of the projects happening throughout the year.

You can find more information on the artists behind the projects below the embedded videos.

Archive Sheffield - Celebrating Hidden Creativity

Archive Sheffield, a collective of photographers and filmmakers, and Sheffield design studio dust, are working together on The Living Archive, a visual celebration of making and hidden creativity in Sheffield. This project aims to build a dynamic archive of contemporary life in Sheffield, and will be shared through newspaper publications distributed across the city with accompanying events. Primarily photographic, the created work will develop an important record for the city. Archive Sheffield has a close relationship with Sheffield’s city archives, where the work will be deposited for future generations to look back on.


Alex McLean - Dancing to Live Coding

Alex McLean is a world-leading luminary in the growing movement of Algorave. Alex sits at the experimental delta of music, technology, art and performance. Algorave is the live construction of code and visual stimulation; for the audience it is about enjoying the live creative performance of the art, whether that is music or visual engagement. For Year of Making, Alex is collaborating with a host of other makers and organisations – including Access Space, Lovebytes, British Science Association, Algorave, Craft Council Innovation, Sampler Cultureclash, Sonic Patter, FoAM and Sound and Music – to celebrate making as performance. The various events each seek to examine the complex relationship between technology, widely defined, and performance.

Photomarathon - Capturing Sheffield

There are few organisations that know as much about Sheffield as Eleven Design, the publishers of the weekly culture guide Our Favourite Places. Their back catalogue is a record of achievement for Sheffield; a celebration of the creative vibrancy of the city. It is fitting that with their Year of Making commission, Eleven Design will host a Photomarathon on 8 October, encouraging audiences of all ages to capture Sheffield from different perspectives. 150 entrants will have eight hours to take eight photographs on a set of topics based around the themes of making, while exploring the maker heritage and future of the city. 

Sheffield is home to hundreds of studios, housing all manner of makers. Places like Yorkshire Artspace, S1 ArtspaceCADSTheatre DelicatessenYellow Arch and The Audacious Art Experiment provide space for visual artists, craftspeople, illustrators, designers, developers, performers and musicians, while plenty more are busy elsewhere across the city. Film companies like Warp and theatre makers like Third Angel and Eclipse are constantly bringing stories to life in the city.

Check out the links above to discover what’s keeping these companies and collectives busy this year.

Original article by Kathryn Hall, Our Favourite Places

Artist Profiles and Videos by Year of Making