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Flat + Earth: Exploring new landscapes

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Sidney + Matilda's opening exhibition in November 2018

A new exhibition featuring contemporary landscapes is opening at the Sidney + Matilda gallery.

Flat + Earth, described as a "definite departure" from nearby galleries and project spaces that focus on conceptual art, runs from 22 February to 15 March.

"I'm trying to show work that's made today," gallery director Al Daw told Now Then. "It doesn't matter whether it's political, it just has to be interesting and well-made and by artists who make art in Sheffield."

There was a weed factory at one point in the basement

The show will feature work from artists including Hannah Brown, Edwin Aitken and Joanna Whittle.

"There's a mix of artists representing landscape in different ways," said Daw. "The 'Flat Earth' is more of a reference to the materials used: pen, pigment, clay, stone, paper."

Some of the work responds to the long-running row over the removal of Sheffield's street trees.

Daw said: "One of the artists that I've been in a dialogue with, he's in London but as he was making the work he started researching Sheffield. He made this uprooted tree, which was the main image used on our posters. It's a tree torn out of the ground and left to rot.

"That's his opinion of what's been done with regards to the uprooting of all these trees that have been there for generations."

The gallery is named after its home in a former paper factory on the corner of Sidney Street and Matilda Street, an industrial area that's earmarked for redevelopment.

Artists move into a knackered building and they bring about change inadvertently

It's a change that hasn't gone unnoticed by Daw. "The gallery sits in among all that, but then there's still the old silversmiths and a few other crafts people operating. Yet there are cranes all around them.

"Artists move into a knackered building and they bring about change inadvertently just by being there."

Future shows at Sidney + Matilda will explore the history of the building.

"It's been all sorts," said Daw. "There was a weed factory at one point in the basement, the guy went to prison. That's actually touched on in the next exhibition in the summer which is more to do with illegal substances."

Sam Gregory

Flat + Earth runs from 22 February to 15 March at the Sidney + Matilda gallery, 46B Sidney Street.

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'Cities Need Trees' by Julian Perry
by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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