I am a freelance writer living based in Sheffield. Check out my blog of the Berlin music scene at fourquartersofberlinmusic.blogspot.co.uk.
Published September 28th 2012
'X' marks the spot of Sheffield's flagship centre for contemporary art. In fact it is the large steel X that adorns the mustard coloured facade of the Site Gallery that makes it instantly recognisable.
What once began life in 1978 as an independent photography gallery in the Walkley area of Sheffield has become the city's home of international contemporary art. Located on Brown Street, just a short walk from the main train station and Sheffield Hallam University, this gallery showcases everything that is fresh and exciting in the contemporary art scene. Its three rooms are dedicated in supporting new artists and helping them promote their work to a wider audience. Everything from experimental digital and multimedia works to performance pieces are incorporated in the Site Gallery's ever changing calendar. Film screenings, artist talks and education projects are also hosted here so check their website to make sure you don't miss out.
But it is not just new artists on display. The gallery also showcases pieces from well established names in the contemporary art world alongside up-and-coming talent. The multi-talented Scottish artist, Zoe Beloff, and a pioneer of computer generated art, Ernest Edmonds have both held exhibitions here. With famous patrons like Pulp's charismatic lead singer, Jarvis Cocker, and famous photographer, Paul Hill MBE, it is no wonder that the Site Gallery has established itself as the place in the city for contemporary art.
The gallery is free to visit and open Tuesday to Saturday 9am to 5.30pm. It won't take too much out of your busy day as you can easily see everything within an hour. After sampling some of the great art pieces on display you should definitely stop at the canteen where you can discuss what you have seen over a coffee. You can also pick up a light snack here with the soup of the day, made from fresh local produce, being very reasonable priced at under £4. The ten percent student discount, free Wi-Fi and computer resource area available make it an ideal, relaxed study space for stressed out students.