Magic and touch of original makers

Hendrika Stephens,  Horseman  icon altered mixed-media sculpture �15'Corner Gallery

Hendrika Stephens, Horseman icon altered mixed-media sculpture �15'Corner Gallery

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A NEW gallery which has been established in the Emporium antiques and contemporary art centre in Heeley is holding an open weekend to promote the venture.

A NEW gallery which has been established in the Emporium antiques and contemporary art centre in Heeley is holding an open weekend to promote the venture.

The Corner Gallery has been set up to provide around 30 sheffield artists and craftworkers with an opportunity to showcase and sell their work.

The driving force behind it is Hendrika Stephens, a maker of recycled jewellery and sculpture, who says: “We could all do with a little more local art and the magic touch and passion of the original maker in our lives. With mass production, design has become a blueprint made to appeal to a global market and we have no idea of the origins of many of the items we own. Local art struggles to compete and we are missing out.

“Unique handmade art work holds a value all of its own and Sheffield is immensely rich in local makers and, although there is an abundance of studios, there are few permanent venues selling and displaying the great variety of work available. People are sometimes reluctant to go into commercial galleries as they can feel a little exclusive and prices are often high prices.

“This art space has come about from an idea that I had a number of years ago while involved with Open Up Sheffield to set up an artist’s co-operative with a permanent outlet for the sale and display of work that would be substantially artist-led.”

She chose the Emporium as the location, she says, in order to be different from the usual gallery or space linked to studios which are often slightly exclusive and because it already attracted people with an eye for beautiful and interesting objects.

The artists who are already involved include some established names in Sheffield and others who have not exhibited before.

They include ceramacists Angie Hardwick, Bev Elliot, Brian Holland and Zandra, painters Catherine Higham, Panni Poh Yoke Loh, Philippa French and Trevor Pollard, printmakers James Green and Samantha Groom and mixed media artists Hendrika Stephens and Sam Dexter.

Other art forms are represented by Anne Smithies (fabric and glass), Bryan Munsey (wood), Deborah Theasby (knitwork), Heather Dewick (book binding), Jacqueline Hilson (fabrics), Jill Lauriston (paint and feltwork), Judith Chamberlain (wool), Karen Graham and Sarah Williams (weaving), Lucinda Key (vintage fabric) and Susannah Gent (taxidermy / mixed media).

“The philosophy behind this venture enables artists to set their own prices without having their work marked up by a gallery taking 50% commission,” says Hendrika.

The open weekend on Saturday and Sunday will not only have work on display in the permanent gallery upstairs but also on an additional indoor wall space with stalls set up outside and art-based activities planned.