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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals


NOT ONLY CAN I NOT DRAW A DOG, I DON’T KNOW WHAT A DOG IS is a new short film by artists Norman Anderson and Ian Nesbitt. Join the artists on Friday 29 May at 6pm for an online watch party, presented as part of the S1 Artspace Studio-Holders' Takeover.

The watch party will include a screening (via Facebook) followed by an open conversation / Q&A (via Zoom). This talk will be then aired on Foodhall Community Radio on Saturday 30 May at 3:30pm.

See full details on Facebook.

Norman Anderson is an artist and studio-holder at S1 Artspace. Norman has been many things, but most important to him at this stage of his life is being an artist and a Quaker. Having discovered both during a spell in prison, on his release he moved to Bamford Quaker Community in the Peak District and completed an MA in fine art in Sheffield.

As part of his approach to faith, Norman identifies with the notion of a ‘thin place’. This is an idea from mystical Celtic tradition relating to places where the distance between heaven and earth collapses and we’re able to glimpse the divine, or transcendent. Norman has experienced a few in his life, and recent cataclysmic events have unexpectedly brought him back to another.

In summer 2018 Norman suffered a serious stroke. Having lost many powers of language and speech, he has had to renegotiate his relationship with the world, with the support of a speech therapist. Months passed and eventually Norman was able to return to the studio and think about making some work. At this point, an extraordinary thing happened. As he began to paint, Norman found himself uttering incantations in a language he didn’t understand, in his words a ‘new and ancient language bubbling up from inside’. NOT ONLY CAN I NOT DRAW A DOG, I DON’T KNOW WHAT A DOG IS explores the 3-way relationship between Norman, his artwork, and this new part of his psyche.

Ian Nesbitt is an artist, filmmaker and activist, interested in creating spaces for exchange that go beyond the everyday. His film practice focuses on exploring identity and community through making work collaboratively, often using chance interactions to open up personal and shared terrains.

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