Lifestyle Guide: Enter the space age

Culture North Director Patrick Murphy in the Made North Gallery.
Culture North Director Patrick Murphy in the Made North Gallery.

THE gallery at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works is about to become a showcase for the best of contemporary craft and design from across the North of England. writes Ian Soutar.

Opening under the Made North banner, the gallery will present its first exhibition in September with a selection of work by some of the hottest designers in the region. In partnership with the Design Council it will present products, furniture and printed works by both established and emerging designers.

Last Friday Made North had a launch evening in the new gallery space with a taster of exhibits which will remain on view throughout the summer leading up to the first exhibition.

They range from an adult push scooter from Manchester’s Swifty Scooters, tables and chairs by Andrew Hartley from Haworth, to textiles by Laura Slater of Wakefield.

Sheffield is well represented by David Appleyard who specialises in public art projects, DED Associates, painter Paul Evans, silversmith Rebecca Joselyn and ceramicist Anne Laycock.

Sheffield Hallam graduate designer Daniel Scofield will be the subject of the first Made North Launch Pad which will put the spotlight on an emerging talent and allow them to present new works, prototypes and ideas, allowing audience engagement and feedback. Wooden egg coat pegs figure in Scofield’s collection.

Curator of the exhibition is Patrick Murphy, director Culture North, the social enterprise organization behind Made North.

“The idea is to bring an exciting mix of contemporary design to a wider audience and promote awareness of contemporary northern design and the designers. It’s a way of helping an economic boom in the North through creativity,” he said.

“It’s about putting these things in front of people. If someone wants a coffee table they will go to Ikea but we want to show them they can have something that’s a bit more special. We see it as like the slow food movement where people are prepared to pay that little bit extra to have quality food that is locally sourced.”

Made North plan a series of talks throughout the year and to encourage dialogue and debate around contemporary craft and design through an annual conference. The first was held at FACT in Liverpool earlier this year but the 2013 conference will be in Sheffield.

“We have decided to make Sheffield our hub,” said Murphy, who hails from Barnsley.