Prism has established itself as Sheffield’s premier art event by giving new artists chances to exhibit alongside more established names.
As co-organiser Darren Chouings explained to me, ‘We have an open call, Europe wide for artists to display with us, and we hold Prism four times a year. Up to now we’ve involved 117 artists from 9 countries. It’s about 60% art professionals and 40% students, but they all go through same submission process and are all treated on same level.’
In addition to this, Darren and co-curator Jamie Crewe aim to accompany the art shows with live performances, and do all of this in a friendly social setting. Darren and his volunteers have spent the last five days working on the installation, which will only be available from eight until midnight tonight.
There are a variety of works from Robin Close, Joe Cutts, Michael Day, Graham Hutchinson, Lindsey Mendick, Sara Pinfold, Carrie Thortersen, Jaro Varga and Joey Wright. They range from videos to painted and drawn art, and are all displayed in the ground floor gallery, and from early on the crowds have gathered to see the latest instalment of the Prism art project.
Tonight, the opening performance is by Kate Sicchio, a choreographer and lecturer living in Sheffield and working in the field of live video and dance. In a packed room she takes us through her performance entitled ‘Nayra mara’. She dances in front of an image projected on an entire wall, on which she both casts a shadow and which also responds to her movement.
It begins with colours, becomes shapes then changes to delayed images of herself as she creates it all with the help of a digital camera and a computer. Her aim is to explore the culture of an indigenous South American people, who reverse the time metaphor and think of the past as being in front of us.
A quick re-location via the bar, and then we all enjoy a performance by Adam and Matthew, known as Horses, a drum and guitar duo, who really tore down the gallery walls with their own wall of raw sound, made all the more intense by being in a small gallery.
A great night, very well attended, with a real feeling of being involved in art as it evolves in our city. As Darren told me ‘We like to feel we take people out of their comfort zone and encourage them to appreciate and experience something different’. He and his team seem to have done just that tonight.