THE DIARY: Toying with an idea can make the city more fun

Toy Town by Ryan Schofield
Toy Town by Ryan Schofield
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A GAMEBOY towers above The Moor. A model train trundles down Arundel Street. A spinning top twirls in Devonshire Green.

Welcome to Sheffield Toy Town.

This is the Steel City re-imagined as if it was a whole lot more fun for kids. And perhaps big kids too.

“Who wants a new multimillion pound market when you could spend that money on a giant computer console instead?” says Ryan Schofield. “Although I accept a spinning top the size of a house might be a bit dangerous.”

He’s the Sheffield Hallam University student behind the film which sees city landmarks turned into play things and trinkets.

The two-minute short was made as part of his masters degree in art animation and visual effects but it impressed tutors so much it will now form part of the uni’s Brightest Spark exhibition.

The movie will be one of 30 pieces of final year work – from photography projects to silversmithery – on show to the public through October.

The exhibition, which opens today in the Cantor Building, in Arundel Street, is designed to show off the best of Sheffield Hallam work to city folk and industry experts. But for Ryan the piece was just a way to impress 18-month-old daughter Summer...

“Having her has changed my perspective on a lot of things,” says the 23-year-old, who lived in Cherry Street, Highfield, before moving to Leicester this summer.

“I was thinking if I could improve the city for her what would I do. And it sort of struck me, the one thing she’d really like is toys everywhere. So that was the inspiration behind this film.”

He thinks for a second.

“I’m chuffed it’s been chosen for the showcase,” he says. “Of course, none of these ideas are ever going to happen but I think it could show the city could be a more fun place to live.”

Toy Town can be viewed at www.shu.ac.uk/mediacentre or at Brighest Spark until October 26.