VIDEO: Sheffield photograher turns his lens on history of steel

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For many people, Sheffield is defined by its steelwork history - and nowhere in the city better represents steel than the world-renowned Sheffield Forgemasters.

Now a new exhibition, launched for the city’s Galvanize Festival, allows the public a peek inside the historic Brightside Lane site.

Andrew Smith with his exhibition at Sheffield Winter Gardens

Andrew Smith with his exhibition at Sheffield Winter Gardens

Steel Soul features images taken inside the site over a two year period by photographer Andrew Smith, at the commission of Forgemaster’s CEO Graham Honeyman.

“Graham saw some photos I’d previously taken of the site’s exterior and invited me inside to explore and photograph the four steel manufacturing processes,” said Andrew, 50, of Crosspool.

“After stalking the outside for quite a while, it felt so great to go in and nosy around. The colours are so rich and there’s such great contrasts of dark and light.”

Andrew’s images were originally intended solely to produce a book, but Galvanize decided to exhibit the stunning photos in the Winter Garden to mark 100 years of stainless steel in the city.

Andrew added: “The exhibition is a compressed version of the book, Steel Soul, which is out in shops now.”

It is only the second solo exhibition for photographer Andrew, who works by day as an IT administrator.

“The Winter Garden is a fantastic place to show and it’s really exciting to see my work displayed there,” said Andrew.

“Galleries are great, but there’s something about showing in public spaces which is fantastic. There are so many people passing through - I’ve had some great conversations with passersby as I’ve been setting up.”

Andrew has been pursuing photography as a sideline for the last six years.

“Photography is my passion, but I’m not sure I’d like it as my full time job. I’d rather keep it as something I do purely because I love it.”

The exhibition will run until June 9.