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Published: October 13th 2018
If you visit Sheffield and look to see.
There is a brief window of time when the low, October, Autumn-sun sets low over the city, towards the Peak District. The setting golden light is caught within my compact flat.
Last year, October light was new to me. New flat, new wall but I was still aware of it.
Now, a 2nd
year. October visits again - I am ready. Soft, velvet light floods across the wall in one diagonal shard, deepening the colours of all the objects it touches.
In this moment of time, the wall is made up of an assortment of pure illumination of varying sorts.
dried festival flowers. Yarn. Chinese vases. Tibetan women captured in polaroid time All dance in natural, Autumn light
The poetry of things.
The room sparkles with rainbows cast from Sunlight clipping the chandelier crystals hanging in the window, prism rainbows stretch across the floor and wall.
My eyes transfixed, watch the visible movement of fading dappled light and rainbow colours. Patiently, I wait knowing that this spectacle, from beginning to
end, will be at most, ten minutes. If you visit during this window of time, I will give you the leather chair so that you, too, may face the illuminated wall and sense what I can. Small things.
We are blessed with this October light, so low, it finds the earth and walls and the cat's paw whilst he sleeps on the sill. Drink it in before the grey of November.
The place is warming on me. The front door has been open since the beginning of May. I’ve learned the passing of light through the place and it is becoming a place I look forward to returning to. But I am not tied to it. Still partially rootless. Sheffield S10
If, early morning, I walk from home, through the city allotments, along the path to Forge Dam, through the aged woodland rising at Ringinglow, across the field to climb the gate, then walk along the road, I turn around and note that Sheffield looks like the sea on the horizon. Basking at around 7 miles away by foot but less as the crow
flies, this city winks in the blaze of Autumn sunshine, clear skies and 360-degree view.
Keep walking to Burbage, over the moor to Stanage Edge which always beckons me. Stand on rocks created 350 million years ago above discarded manmade millstones and a solid individual stone trough.
Stanage is always wild with wind, today is no different. I feel free.
I’m so lucky to live on the edge of the Peak District and within a city of such diversity and colour and light. A Diverse city with odd events that inspire.
Sheffield, I think, has an odd reputation. I no longer listen to anything negative said by folks who know nothing of the place. This city is full of culture, diversity and a community of mostly welcoming Yorkshire peeps, some of whom have become my Sheffield sisters.
Yesterday, I saw, listened to and spoke with a courageous young woman called Gabrielle de la Puente who opened her talk at the Cultural Consortium Writing event I went to at Rocco, with “CSM (Central School of St. Martins) breeds Gob shites” which is okay coming
from her as she went to CSM, and that she was marked down in her BA because she didn’t reference theoretically but she didn’t care and she added that she still didn’t know what Kant did.
I instantly really liked her. She was fearless. What’s not to like? Honest Gabrielle and Zarina Muhammad, started White Pube exactly three years ago to review art exhibitions. They spent a lot of time at CSM talking with friends about art and exhibition reviews and after reading something that said NOTHING in the Evening Standard, they wrote their first review a piece about Jessie Darling’s work, as a joke, entirely drawing on their own subjective feelings. The joke took off on Instagram, Twitter and their website and now, They are NO JOKE. This young 24-year-old woman so inspired me to continue to speak what I think because, as I know, subjective truth isn’t always acceptable. Find your voice.
I’ve always been told, it’s not what you say but how you say it, but not with these two women - Embodied Criticism is their creative practice – White Pube do it well.
What’s lovely is, that
young people are coming with a voice and a way of being heard that reaches thousands in a clever way.
After the workshop, I went to the Showroom, my favourite cinema for 20 years. And then I went to see Tim Etchells’ ‘Strong Language’ at Site Gallery – a place I used to work. What a day, in this small city.
Sheffield offers so much to those who engage to breathe it in. At the moment, it’s alive with new galleries, exhibitions, festivals and events. This week I’ve been to a Painting naming party, walked in the Peaks - down to Hathersage, seen the most inspirational young woman speak about writing for a living, been to the Showroom and listened to Tim. All of it was free, except the film. Not bad for a small city.
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