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Yorkshire Artspace launch new home for exhibitions at Persistence Works

Opening with a show by Sheffield-taught painter Paul Housley, the studio provider hopes the venue will help make Sheffield a "national destination for art".

DSC09278 Photo Credit George Baggaley

The new exhibition space at Persistence Works, with work by Yorkshire Artspace studio holders.

George Baggaley.

Yorkshire Artspace have cut the ribbon on a new exhibition space at their Persistence Works site, which they say will help make Sheffield "a national destination for art".

The new venue opened with an exhibition by Sheffield-taught painter Paul Housley, which finishes this Saturday.

'A Playground in the Factory' is Housley's first exhibition in the city in over 20 years. It marks a homecoming for the artist, who graduated from what was then Sheffield City Polytechnic (now Hallam University) in 1986.

"Characters, places and memories inhabit the studio, it’s a place of constant flux," said Housley, when asked when inspired the show. "Ideas and motifs, new possibilities and dead ends, the studio contains them all, it’s simply a race against the clock to unearth as many as I can."

Yorkshire Artspace, which was founded in 1977 to provide inexpensive studio space to artists and makers in the city, hope that the new exhibition space on Brown Street will act as a catalyst for the city's culture sector.

"We hope this brilliant new space will enable a range of vibrant exhibitions and festival events to take place at Yorkshire Artspace, giving people even more reason to visit us as we play an increasingly important role in making Sheffield a national destination for art," director Georgina Kettlewell told Now Then.

"The income we generate by hiring out the space will support us to keep our famously high-quality studios affordable for Sheffield's artists and makers, who fuel the city's creativity."

When it was set up, Yorkshire Artspace was one of the first major studio providers outside London, and now rents out hundreds of spaces to 160 Sheffield-based creatives at its Persistence Works and Exchange Place sites.

The group is known for its popular 'Open Studios' events, where the public can explore the two studio complexes in their own time, meet the artists who rent out space and buy work directly.

"We're a centre for creative production and we exist to find and nurture artists and makers in all their diversity, support their professional careers and offer creative opportunities to people in Sheffield," said Kettlewell, when asked what inspired the new gallery space.

"This means we will also use the space to profile contemporary art, craft and design, often with a Sheffield connection and national reach, and share this through a combination of public exhibitions and selling shows, further supporting artists' careers."

If you're interested in hiring the new space, contact Yorkshire Artspace.

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Paul Housley's 'A Playground in the Factory' is free, and closes this Saturday 2 December. The exhibition is supported by SHED.

by Sam Gregory (he/him)

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