The City as Bricolage

The City as Bricolage
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The City as Bricolage was initiated by Clive Egginton as part of his ongoing project Archive Sheffield. Funded by Arts Council England Clive commissioned three new pieces of work for the city’s archive.

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Responding to the 2009 government publication Archives for the 21st Century that

“The archive record is...the direct, un-interpreted and authentic voice of the past: the primary evidence of what people did and what they thought; the look of places and events recorded through images-both still and moving; life’s beginnings and life’s endings; the growth and decline of industries and the ebbs and flows of communities and cultures. The archive record is the foundation on which are built all our histories, with their many and varied voices...” 

The City as Bricolage sought to question the assured certainty of the report. Is there just one story of a city? How can you keep updating an archive? How can you tell more than one story of a city and its people? For Clive the archive should not be a static entity but rather a living, growing and constantly evolving collection of material that reflects, responds to and interprets the diversity of the city at different points in time.

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In an effort to address the diversity of Sheffield Archives, The City as Bricolage worked with Andy Brown to develop an intervention at the Children’s Hospital, Gemma Thorpe to document aspects of Sheffield’s Chinese community and Clive collaborated with the clients of Phoenix Futures in Ranmoor. Following Clive’s death, the project continued with the contribution of Rosie Nesbitt who documented users of Sheffield Alcohol Support Service (SASS). The project became both a monument to the diversity of the city and the endless enthusiasm of Clive for the myriad of individuals and communities that form the heart of Sheffield and should be documented for future records.

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After spending time with each of their respective community groups Gemma, Andy and Rosie exhibited their work in a series of shows at Sheffield Cathedral. Displayed on an exhibition structure designed by Chop Shop, each photographer showed their work one after the other. In line with the staggered series of exhibitions we developed three publications documenting each photographers work. Mirroring the grid-like structure of the exhibition furniture we designed a flexible grid enabling the diverse content to fall rhythmically across each individual piece of print. A tabloid sized wrap was subsequently designed to unite the individual publications on the exhibition project’s completion. 


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