‘You have to come and rummage’ – huge Sheffield art sale returns for 20th year with prices starting at £1

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Karen Sherwood with a work by Ed Syder (220) Picture Scott Merrylees
The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Karen Sherwood with a work by Ed Syder (220) Picture Scott Merrylees

A January sale with a difference comes to Sheffield this week as thousands of original works of art are exhibited at a city gallery - all at affordable prices.

The Cupola Gallery’s ‘Under The Bed’ sale will open its doors for the 20th time at 10am on Thursday, January 10, showing thousands of pieces from artists all over the world.

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Graham Shapley with a work by Debbie Michaels (80). Picture Scott Merrylees

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Graham Shapley with a work by Debbie Michaels (80). Picture Scott Merrylees

The show features all genres of art from painting, printmaking, sculpture, glass, ceramics, textiles, photography, drawing, jewellery and mixed media – as well as things that defy description.

All the works are packed, stacked, hung and displayed across the Hillsborough gallery’s two largest spaces, offering art lovers the chance to buy original pieces at a fraction of the price they would normally expect.

Director and founder, Karen Sherwood, said anyone who enjoys art, having a rummage and getting a bargain will love the show.

She said: “It is completely unselected and that is the fun of it. We have work of astonishing quality which is really well priced alongside work from people who have never exhibited before.

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Painting by Karen Sherwood (30) Picture Scott Merrylees

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Painting by Karen Sherwood (30) Picture Scott Merrylees

“We never know what will be in the sale and that's why it is so much fun - you have to come and rummage.”

“We have very traditional art – which we don’t normally exhibit – and things that are so far out there they make your eyes pop.”

Karen said the sale has grown ‘year on year’ from its early beginnings around 20 years ago.

It evolved out of a conversation she had with an artist friend, Lyn Hodnett, who while showing her work revealed she had lots of unsold pieces hidden under her bed.

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Small bowls by Debbie Michaels (1 each) Picture Scott Merrylees

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Small bowls by Debbie Michaels (1 each) Picture Scott Merrylees

She didn’t want to exhibit the pieces as they didn’t represent her current style, but was open to the idea of selling them in a specially arranged show, and the Under the Bed sale was born.

Karen said they are looking at getting around 2,000 separate works of art this year, after receiving an astonishing 3,000 in 2018 and 4,000 in 2017.

Last year they received work from Ukraine, Poland and the USA as well as from Sheffield and every other part of the UK.

The work featured includes life drawings, abstract work, figurative work, collage, conceptual pieces, still life pieces and everything in between.

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Karen Sherwood with a work by Ed Syder (220) Picture Scott Merrylees

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Karen Sherwood with a work by Ed Syder (220) Picture Scott Merrylees

Unusually, the gallery does not select the work for the sale and every artist - either amateur or professional - can submit pieces, whether they be contemporary or traditional.

Karen says customers are often amazed when they realise the price of the items on show, with all pieces selling for between £1 and £350.

“One person once thought something was on sale for £220 but it was actually £2.20!

“I think for the artist it was a case of either that goes or it was a divorce!”

“We even get kids coming in and spending their pocket money on original works of art - you don’t get that anywhere else.”

Under The Bed runs at the Cupola Gallery on Middlewood Road from Thursday, January 10 to Saturday, February 2, with the gallery open Monday - Saturday, 10am-6pm and Sundays 10-4.

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Gavin Douglas with a work by his mother Alison (44). Picture Scott Merrylees

The Under The Bed Sale returns to Sheffield Hillsborough's Cupola Gallery and runs from January 10 - February 2. Gavin Douglas with a work by his mother Alison (44). Picture Scott Merrylees

On the first day of the sale the gallery will stay open until 8pm.