Printing Sheffield highlights a city's abundance of talent at the Millennium Gallery

By Philip Rylands-Richey | 09 January 2014

A creative renaissance in Sheffield, where the Millennium Gallery celebrates printmaking in the city

A photo of a grey, brown and orange print showing a relish shop in Sheffield
Henderson's Relish© Jo Peel
For years and years now, contemporary printing has been in utero, squirming and developing in the remarkably fertile city of Sheffield. I’m talking about artists such as Kid Acne, whose larger-than-life aphorisms and cartoonish illustrations have been changing the way we look at the underrated art form over the past decade.

An image of a purple and blue print showing a turnkey totalitarianism symbol
Turnkey© Joe McDonnell
Acne and all the rest responsible for this printmaking rebirth are having their work celebrated in upcoming expo Printing Sheffield, which is to be held at the Millennium Gallery.

From depictions of miserable cafés to towering mounds of Thailandian garbage, Jo Peel’s captivating style has earned her a cult following on the contemporary art scene as well; the same can be said for Phlegm, whose large-scale and complex illustrations dominate the Steel City.

Graffiti writer-turned-street artist Florence Blanchard’s surreal (and often moustachioed) portraits are widely recognised around Sheffield, and Jonathan Wilkinson’s ridiculously popular geometric representations of landmarks have been feasted on by eyes worldwide.

A photo of a monochrome print showing trees and a forest with a sunset beyond it
Derwent - Gorsey Bank© Neil Woodall
Opening in January, the exhibition is aiming to reflect the sheer variety of contemporary printing going on in the city today, and will feature the work of more than 30 artists.

Kid Acne’s silkscreen editions and Neil Woodall’s provocative etchings are present and correct along with graphic screen prints by Joe McDonnell and Emma Shore, a lot of which are representations of the city itself.

Printing Sheffield is all about displaying the abundance of talent the city has produced, and letting people see how artists have represented it in their work. Jo Peel’s pictures of everyday scenarios drip with paint and fondness. Phlegm’s work, meanwhile, takes on a darker turn, his fantastical characters mingling with real-life environments in disturbing, curious ways.

  • Runs January 25 - June 15 2014. Admission free. Follow Museums Sheffield on Twitter @MuseumSheffield‎.

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

An image of a circular swirl of blue and yellow print against a purple-blue background
Dark Side, monotype© Isobel Walker
A photo of a monochrome blue print showing a large industrial bridge crossing a river
Coalbrookdale Iron Bridge© Theo Simpson
An image of a print showing a series of yellow houses under a pink sky on a green slope
Into the Valley© Jonathan Wilkinson
An image of a print showing a dark blue and yellow flower against a pink background
Iris (screenprint)© Piers Williams
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