The Exhibition Space in Jessop West was overflowing with colour and poetry for the day thanks to the Storying Sheffield Exhibition, an English module at The University of Sheffield that involves students and members of the local community contributing towards a spectacular exhibition.
The atmosphere in the room was a lively yet contemplative one. Every table, every book, told a different story, as the title of the exhibition suggests.
The result of the exhibition was successful in achieving its aim of creating “a cloth woven of stories told,” a phrase taken from philosopher Paul Ricoeur.
The whole room was an interactive hub. Sitting down to read about the lives of the people of Sheffield was encouraged by the placement of new literature on a park bench. The bench was not as out of place as you might expect – it sat nearly in the middle of the space on top of a layer of artificial grass covering the entire room.
It would be wrong to call any of the pieces a highlight, since they were all so personal to their creators, but certainly the most interactive of them was the Trance Booth. It provided food for thought, isolating you from the rest of the exhibition with its thick black walls and trance-accompanied slideshow.
The exhibition as a whole was perfect for those who enjoy having their curiosity piqued. Dotted around the room were birdhouses begging to be looked into. They contained photos, and scraps of writing documenting the work leading up to the exhibition.
Scattered everywhere were televisions, telling stories related to various other pieces. At the far end of the room a time-lapse video showed 24 hours of Sheffield, a clear sign of the hard work that has gone into the project. This isn’t something that students have done for 20 credits; it’s something they care about.
Although only being two years old, The Storying Sheffield course should be recognised for its outstanding work with people from different backgrounds, and for creating a wonderful exhibition for everyone to enjoy.