If there’s one thing we do well in this country – it’s queuing! Wednesday was a chilly April day but that didn’t stop my friend and I queuing for 3 hours in sunshine, rain, hail and even some snow to see the exhibition ‘The Mausoleum of the Giants’ in Sheffield. Was it worth it? Hell yes, it was amazing but the actual anticipation and 3 hours were strangely enjoyable. We made new friends, we chatted, we saved places whilst people nipped off to find a toilet. We discovered that Phlegm himself, the artist responsible for the exhibition, was actually painting a mural on the far side of the building so we took it in turns to go and watch in star struck amazement.
We were given ponchos when it rained, sweets to keep us smiling and there was lots of street art to look at in this old industrial area of Sheffield.
The atmosphere was light hearted and we actually cheered with glee when our part of the queue turned the final corner. Our goal was in sight.
We went in as a group of 36 which meant our newly found group of friends were able to stay together. We had a 4 year old little boy with us who smiled and made us laugh – we were hoping he wouldn’t be frightened but these benign giants were gentle giants and just made all of us stare in wonder.
From the notice saying ‘please do not disturb the giants‘ to the guardian welcoming us it felt like we were entering a magical world. Once through into the main part of this disused cutlery factory the wow factor really kicked in, huge creatures laying down or with their knees up to the ceiling, enclosed spaces with subtle lighting and little details everywhere meant this was a feast for all our senses.
Our time with the giants passed in a flash, and I felt sad when we left. I know these are inanimate objects who will stay with this old building as it’s converted to apartments but I’m glad we got to see them.
I’ve followed Phlegm via social media for a few years now and have always loved his work. He agreed to let me use some of his images in my book Learning Through a lens and so I was completely star struck to meet him after the exhibition and be able to thank him and then watch him work, what a talent!
Sheffield has a vast array of street art and if you follow @streetartsheff on twitter or visit streetartsheffield.com you will find lots of background information about the artists and their work.you can follow lots of these artists on Instagram too.
A memorable day and I’m glad I got to meet these beautiful giants x