A huge mural with artwork and a ‘green wall’ is on the way in Sheffield – and this is where it will be created

A large and colourful mural will be created on one of Sheffield’s most acclaimed buildings as part of efforts to breathe fresh life into the city’s Cultural Industries Quarter.

Wednesday, 5th February 2020, 3:30 pm
Updated Thursday, 6th February 2020, 12:51 pm

Artist Jo Peel and horticulture expert Professor Nigel Dunnett, of Sheffield University, have been commissioned to create a piece that blends a traditional painting with a ‘green wall’ featuring real leaves.

It will cover a series of toughened glass panels on the front of Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works studios on Brown Street, next door to the Site Gallery and close to the Showroom cinema.

The award-winning building was put up 20 years ago, when it was the UK's first bespoke arts and crafts complex of its kind.

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How the mural at Yorkshire Artspace will look.

Currently the panels are backed with a set of 24 images made by an artist in residence – however this was only intended to be a temporary display.

Peel is responsible for murals across Sheffield. Her ‘urban landscape’ style can be seen at the old Henderson’s Relish building on Leavygreave Road, and across one side of Hagglers Corner, on Queens Road.

Her Persistence Works mural will depict chimneys, cranes, trees and brick-built workshops, blending the natural world with Sheffield’s industrial heritage. The pictures of cranes and trees will be constructed out of steel.

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Sheffield Council has approved the artwork’s installation. Granting permission, the authority said Yorkshire Artspace felt the existing images were ‘out of date and not reflective of the talent within the building’.

Officers thought the new mural will have a ‘small negative visual impact’ as it would ‘appear much heavier and fussier’.

But the council added: “On the benefit side, the proposal will add visual interest and it can be argued that the greenery will soften the building’s appearance. It will also achieve the original objective of drawing attention to the artistic talent in the area.”

Peel and Prof Dunnett have been commissioned jointly by Yorkshire Artspace and the City of Ideas programme, an Arts Council England-funded partnership project in the CIQ led by the Site Gallery.

“The artwork’s narrative approach and green element were praised for providing a contrast at a time when Yorkshire Artspace are trying to position themselves as being more accessible,” the council said.