The Civic

Love Barnsley Art

Throughout 2022 Barnsley’s town centre will become a creative landscape exploring different themes each month. The first of which is “Love” Barnsley. We have commissioned a number of artists to use this primary emotion to communicate and question the phrase “love”.

We hope to generate debate, push boundaries and encourage new ways of thinking for both those familiar with the arts and those new to engaging with art and artists.

LIZ WEST

Hymn to the Big Wheel is an immersive sculptural work exploring the illusion and physicality of colour and natural light in space. Consisting of a multi-coloured octagon nestled within a larger octagonal shape, this work encourages the viewer to reposition and align themselves to differing colour-ways to see a changing scope of colours mixing before their eyes.

Constructed using transparent coloured sheets, the work prompts the playful movement of visitors to explore the work in context with their surroundings. This installation is an energising beacon for the love of colour that radiates across the space it inhabits, creating an intriguing interplay of coloured shadows for people to discover. 

Hymn to the Big Wheel was originally commissioned by Canary Wharf Group for Summer Lights 2021 and shown at Ushaw Historic House & Gardens for Lumiere Durham 2021.

Barnsley born Liz West graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2007. West’s broad body of work encompasses site-specific installations, sculpture, and wall-based artwork.

West creates vivid environments that mix luminous colour and radiant light. She aims to provoke the viewer through her work and is interested in exploring how sensory experience can invoke us, both psychologically and physically, and tap into our own deeply entrenched relationships to colour. 

West has been commissioned worldwide by institutions and organisations including Natural History Museum, National Trust, National Science and Media Museum and London Design Festival. 

Caroline Cardus

Since 2020, the pandemic has changed our lives in so many ways. What has it done to the hearts of people in Barnsley? If love brings people together, but everybody has had to learn to live with less contact, has love between families, friends and in relationships endured or changed? Has love kept people going, if so, how?

Looking at three types of love — friendship, romantic love, and family love Cardus asked people in Barnsley to give her a simple sentence about their experience in these areas during 2020-2022 and has made three colourful, text based, signage-style installations.

Caroline Cardus’s art practice focusses on cultural activism. Starting from her own experiences as a disabled woman, her text based, subversive and graphic style practice brings forth frank, darkly humorous and powerful messages about the human experience of marginalised groups. Frequent subjects include disability, inequality and feminism. Well-known visual systems of authority like road signs, prescription forms and instruction manuals are subverted to offer a more personal and human narrative.

Career highlights include her ground-breaking disability art protest piece, The Way Ahead, which has toured throughout the UK for 17 years and is due to be placed in the National Disability Arts Collection and Archive (NDACA). 

AILISH TREANOR

The concept for this commission is a significant continuation from Treanor’s  ‘Paper Sculpture’ series which she has been working on since 2020. The sculptures from this series are inspired by natural shapes borrowed from nature and the human body. When previously exhibited they have been perceived to have many different connotations, some people saw them as flowers, some as pieces of clothing or armour, some as sci-fi or alien objects.

These small, folded-paper sculptures have been scaled-up and fabricated for this commission. The ambiguous shapes of the sculptures have been heightened and the hope is that this piece will encourage conversation and opinion.

There is a ceramic padlock incorporated into the sculpture, inspired by the ‘love lock’ bridges found in some of the most romantic cities in the world, a gentle nod to Barnsley as a romantic destination.

Barnsley based Treanor works broadly across many media, with a focus on sculpture and image-making. Throughout her work there is a specific ‘way of looking’ which is influenced by varied areas of research and historic references that she distils into highly composed objects and images.

In 2018, graduating from Newcastle University with first class honours, she was also awarded the 4th year prize for studio practice and a month-long residency at The British Embassy in Rome. Since that time she has exhibited in various group shows around the UK and most recently in August 2021 in a solo show – ‘Botany of Desire’ – at 36 Gallery in Newcastle. In 2022 she will be exhibiting at 89 Gallery in Hull, in conjunction with her on-going research and engagement into their 20-year archive.

SAM SHENDI

Shendi’s works reference the work of “minimalism” and focuses on the mediums of steel, aluminum and paint. Some of his works are deceptively simple in form but include the qualities of metaphorical associations, symbolism and suggestions of spiritual transcendence, which is what the artists of the 60’s & 70’s were trying to avoid.

His works whittle down the human figure to its simplest form and, by doing so, his creations become centred on an emotion or an expression.

Shendi’s work, therefore, takes a fine line between representation and abstraction. Whilst he appreciates the abstract form, his interest is in the human and psychological dimensions to his sculptures, stripping human nature down to its essence, and then expressing it in a sculptural language.

Egyptian born, Yorkshire based Sculptor, Sam Shendi, creates joyfully coloured abstractions of the human figure, which, with the subtlest of indicators, hints at the complexity of human interactions. He graduated in 1997 with a first class BA degree with honors from Helwen University of Fine Arts in Cairo.

 

A lovely video created by students and staff from LFLW Barnsley College! 

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