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Yorkshire Artspace and Working Class Creatives Database Meet up and Panel Discussion

Updated: Apr 16

Working Class Creatives Meetup:

A networking event tailored for Working Class Creatives in Sheffield and Members of the Working Class Creatives' Database (WCCD) community. The networking event will open with a warm welcome with a vegan buffet provided by Hideaway and an introduction to YAS and WCCD. Attendees will have the opportunity to mingle and connect with fellow Working class creatives, sharing experiences and forging new connections. 

Panel Discussion:

Central to the event will be a panel discussion between Thomas Lee Griffiths and Will Hughes guided by WCCD directors Seren Metcalfe and Chanelle Windas, offering firsthand insights into their journey as working class creatives. We will be discussing the intersections of class, queer identity and being an emerging artist in the North. Following the guest artist talk, there will be a Q&A where attendees can engage in open dialogue, ask questions, and share their own experiences. This interactive segment aims to facilitate meaningful discussions, encourage collaboration, and inspire innovative ideas among participants.

Event Details:

Date: 27th April 2024

Time: 3-6pm (followed by a general public closing event 6-8pm)

Venue: Yorkshire Artspace, Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield City Centre, Sheffield S2 5TR

Sign up to attend the FREE event here

Working Class Creatives Database

The Working-Class Creatives Database (WCCD) CIC is a volunteer-led platform that highlights the work of working-class creatives in the UK. It was founded in 2020 to provide a platform for working-class creatives, to establish a strong community between working-class artists around the region and tackle classism within the arts by improving accessibility, engagement and opportunities.

Art is an important part of our society and provides an alternative way of communicating and expressing personal experiences and histories. It enhances connections and networks and provides a stronger sense of place, identity, and heritage. Their core values are ensuring working class creatives have equal access to the arts and its opportunities, not just those who can afford it.

If you’re not a member of WCCD already and you would like to attend the event you can join WCCD here.

Yorkshire Artspace 

Yorkshire Artspace exists to find and nurture talented artists and makers in all their diversity, support their professional careers, and offer creative opportunities to people in Sheffield. Established in 1977, they have grown to become one of the largest and most established studio providers in the UK.

They provide studio space to around 170 artists and makers across two studio sites in Sheffield city centre, including the country’s first purpose-built studio complex and a repurposed art deco department store. 

Their programme supports artistic development through opportunities to exhibit and sell work, subsidised starter studios, monthly crit groups, talks from visiting artists, organising studio visits, and 121 support. Most recently, they launched their Testing Ground residency for artists based in Sheffield. 

Thomas Lee Griffiths

Thomas Griffiths is an artist currently studying a MFA Fine Art degree, at Manchester School of Art. Thomas Griffiths’ practice is influenced by public and hidden spaces. Through playful use of materiality and symbolism, the work aims to infiltrate and divert attention towards the overlooked, highlighting nuances of working-class culture and queer identity. Sensual-yet-gauche representations combine with tongue-in-cheek humour to convey these narratives.

 They primarily use low cost and recycled materials, utilising woodworking, metalworking, casting  and digital software to realise works. Current works investigate industrial objects within the public domain. With interest in the relationship between identity and space, identifiable objects and symbols are often reimagined and recontextualised, giving a new interpretation (often coded) in relation to the queer lens. Alongside their artistic practice, they are a co-director and curator of GLOAM, an artist-led grassroots gallery and studio space, Sheffield.

Will Hughes

Will Hughes is a multi-disciplinary artist based in Teesside. Their work is conceptually driven by their lived experiences as a queer, non-binary person in the UK, mixing pop culture references with material language to construct moments. They wish to seduce the viewer through often using repetitive mechanical movement, glossy/shiny surfaces and the lens of glamour as a means of storytelling.

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