Everything Flows

Millennium Gallery
- , 2017

Tickets: Free

Art inspired by movement from contemporary Sheffield artists. Our review...

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Everything Flows could quite easily be called “nothing flows”. Millennium Gallery’s latest exhibition is as much about movement as the lack of it. For every overflowing canvas of paint there are straight, static borders; and for every rushing droplet of water there is silence and stillness. It is a show of contrasts, uniting painting, photography, sculpture, video installation and drawing from nine Sheffield-based artists to explore the concept of “flow”.

The presentation opens with Joseph Cutts’ Trigger Happy Discipline, a two-screen video installation that captures the elegant kinetic motion of mechanical tools. The rotation of drill bits is surprisingly graceful and Cutts places the objects against a brightly coloured backdrop to give them a new artistic context. One shot includes a line-up of different drill bits in a range of colours on plinths, creating an exhibition within an exhibition.

Likewise, Ruth Levene studies physical movement in her Hidden Waters. She follows the flow of water as it falls from the sky, runs through streams, sits in a reservoir and rushes through the waste water system. Levene’s video piece is beautifully shot and captures the intersection between the natural movement of water and the man-made constructions that harness its power. In one scene, the artist lies still on dry, cracked land where there is an absence of water, reminding the viewer of the absolute necessity of the flow of water in life.

Flow also stops still in Remedy by Victoria Lucas, albeit in a more metaphorical way. In 2012, during the height of the financial crash in Greece, Lucas photographed empty billboards across the region, documenting the lack of financial flow. The decrepit, lifeless structures appear as monuments to a lost time when streams of money erected giant pillars to the worship of consumerism.

Not all the artists are interested in the flow/lack of flow in one thing however; Peter Martin looks at the interconnectivity between sound and visuals. Martin’s We See Ourselves, We See Each Other unites the chopped up audio from a Learn a Language in your Car cassette tape with a collage of found visuals. Single authoritative phrases play over random photographs. Most of the pairings make sense, like asking “where are you going?” over a picture of a sign, but occasionally the connection is a bit more random, forcing the viewer to construct their own conclusion on meaning.

There is also space in the exhibition for artists who utilise flow in the creation of their works. Paul Barlow’s bold paintings are created in a way that allows the paint to move across the canvas; he often restretches the canvas to let the paint move over the borders. Similarly Ryan Mosley’s fluorescent oil paintings blend together an array of striking colours with smudged edges. And Natalie Finnemore’s Untitled takes the form of a domestic blind and transforms it into a bench.

It turns out that “flow” is a pretty broad theme, but this allows for the representation of various artistic practices. Fundamentally Everything Flows does two things: it offers a snapshot into the way in which movement inspires art, and it highlights the important creative work going on in Sheffield right now.

Exhibition events:
Curator Tour: Everything Flows
Thursday 15 June, 1am, free

Annexinema: Everything Flows
Thursday 22 June, 7pm, £5
An evening of film and food off-site in the Abbeydale Picture House.

Artist Talk: Rose Butler and Ryan Mosley
Thursday 13 July, 1pm, free

Artist Talk: Ruth Levene and Ian Nesbit
Thursday 20 July, 1pm, free

Everything Flows: Prototype
Saturday 5 August, 8-10:30pm, free – book in advance
At Picture House Social, curated by Joseph Cutts and Ashley Holmes, with live music and moving image works contributed by national and international artists.

Artist Talk: Peter Martin and Victoria Lucas
Thursday 10 Aug, 1pm, free

Written by Hannah Clugston; July 4, 2017