Saturday, 16 March 2013

Sheffield Millennium Gallery

"Barking up the right tree" is the title of this eye-catching creature, one of many striking exhibits I saw in Sheffield yesterday. First, I was directed to the Graves Gallery (it closes early): something of everything there in the way of 16th-21st Century pictures and sculpture, a really well-presented collection. Then, I discovered the much newer (as its name implies) Millennium Gallery, which leads off the rather spectacular Winter Garden.

Johnny White's sculpture is made up of pieces donated by the people of Sheffield: it becomes quite animated, depending which button you press, and serves to reflect the huge and varied collection of cutlery, metalwork and silverware permanently on display in one of the rooms.

Another (larger) at present houses "Forces of Nature", a temporary show on the theme of landscape: it stems from Ruskin's association with Sheffield, but apart from a host of wonderful Ruskin drawings, the exhibition includes sculpture, and paintings by Turner, Watts, the Pre-Raphaelites and many contemporary artists. There's a spell-binding video showing the progress of a large roundish block of wood from its initial deposit in a flooded stream out into the open sea over a couple of decades.

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