Presenting ‘[SHF]’, my piece for the Year of Making 2016. Back in February of this year I applied for a commission with a project idea I had over two years ago: to create a large-scale mural celebrating Sheffield’s industrial past, it’s present, and it’s creative future, to communicate not only with local inhabitants, but also commuters and tourists alike, acting as a beacon/landmark for our city. The project, ‘Connecting the North’ came about when I was researching the industrial history of Sheffield, and other Northern towns and cities. The advent of the railway was a huge leap forward in connecting towns and cities together industrially and indeed recreationally. The free-er movement of imports and exports helped towns become cities, and allowed for tourism to become what it is today. I chose to take the universally understood yet unspoken language of train station codes and use this as the basis for my mural. [SHF] is the unmistakable three letter alpha-code abbreviation for Sheffield. There is no other, just as there is no other Sheffield (in the UK). Seeing this code elsewhere, other than just the train station, will act as a reminder of where you are and why you’re here. I designed the piece to fit perfectly onto the wall it is painted. It is purely typographical, repeating the letters concentrically to create repeating pattern and shape. This metaphorically illustrates the strong creative/design culture that the city harbours. This is what the city is recognised for today, and will be into the future. I chose the green colour scheme, because, if there’s one colour that represents Sheffield, it’s green. I also wanted to highlight it’s status as the ‘greenest city in Europe’.
I will also be painting the space to the right, but with a personal project which I’ll announce in due course.
Huge thanks go to the amazing Phlegm_art for offering his wall. To the excellent staff of the Dog Shelter for their hospitality, Tamar Millen of Year Of Making for her support throughout the project, Tommy Wilson, Steve Pool, and Felicity Hoy. Visit the Year of Making website for more information on this year long festival.