Art shows work in progress

S1 Artspace prepares to welcome visitors to the Where is the Work? exhibit
S1 Artspace prepares to welcome visitors to the Where is the Work? exhibit
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Whether it’s going to a museum for an exhibit, or going to look at a painting in a gallery - visitors are always after the finished product.

But a band of 11 Sheffield artists are on a mission to turn that tradition on its head and encourage people to think about the work which goes into a piece.

Where is the Work? is the latest exhibition from creative minds at Sheffield city centre’s S1 Artspace and the AGC Gallery in Eyre Lane.

There are picture collages designed to show how something as simple as a newspaper cutting or figure in history can inspire a body of work, scribbles on glass from Rachel Smith, and the building fronts which Katrin Lübs has used in her work.

“Where is the Work? has been a concern of ours for about a year now; it has been a recurring question that we ask ourselves, and each other, as artists who are engaged in both art making and research,” explained co-curator Helen Frank.

The exhibit launches with a preview event at S1 tomorrow from 6pm until 9pm, kicking off a fortnight of different events including live drawings, performances and readings.

After that Where is the Work? will be open to the public from this Saturday until Saturday, June 15, from 10am until 4pm each day.

Organisers also said there will be a daily ‘happening’ - a surprise event - in the basement of S1 in Trafalgar Street every day.

Helen added: “In museums and other cultural institutions the finished art object is seen as the work. In the gallery, the text next to the object shown explains both process and concept; but all the viewer ‘sees’ is the final work.

“We ask what happens to the rest.

“The object and its production cannot be separated or distinguished from each other. The exhibition is a single moment, frozen in time. Process, labour, research, failures, sleepless nights, and defining moments of clarity are left unseen.

“Are these stages no longer important? We cannot ‘see’ a thought, but that does not make it invisible.

“The work is considered finished because it is framed, installed, exhibited. It is easy to consider this the end, but if there is an end, there must also be a beginning.

“We ask the viewer to consider a space in which process holds as much value as any traditional idea of the completed artwork.

“Everything is the work.”

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