I very rarely visit the mega shopping centre in our area even though I could get there on the tram. It might be a convenient way of shopping under one roof, but I'm not keen on being in an environment where there are crowds or not being in the fresh air as I would if I went into Sheffield city centre. However, I did go there with daughter D when she came to stay as I had been thinking about updating my mobile phone and wanted us to take a look together at what was on offer. In the end I didn't buy one and instead we went and had a coffee before heading home again.
In fact, I was more interested in some of the displays that we passed as we walked around this vast shopping centre. Above is The Man of Steel. It's a replica of the one that will be built in a nearby historic industrial area where there will be a centre showcasing present day advanced manufacturing technologies. It will be a 32m high stainless steel sculpture which will sit on a coal black column representing the coal seams that once dominated the geology of the region. Inside The Steel Man will be another sculpture of a heart. The British Heart Foundation has become associated with this part of the project and those who have made donations to the BHF to aid further life saving research will have their names etched on the construction.
Another thought-provoking sculpture that can be seen in the shopping centre is Beedazzle. It was one of many sculptures that could be seen in Manchester designed and made by local artists as an art trail in 2018 as part of the events in that city in memory of the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing attack on 22nd May, 2017 where the concert had attracted young people and families from all over the region. Our own granddaughter has friends who went to the concert. The sculptures were then put up for sale by auction to support good causes. Two Sheffield schoolgirls, friends of someone who had lost her life as she shielded her niece and sister during the blast, fund-raised with their friends and family and bought Beedazzle in her memory. The bee sculpture standing in the middle of a busy shopping mall where many passers-by will pause and understand its significance is also a poignant reminder of the preciousness of life.
Another sculptural piece that has special meaning for the people of Sheffield is this group of steel workers as the shopping centre was built on the site of a former steel works. The monument in bronze created by Robin Bell depicts skilled workers pouring molten crucible steel into ingot moulds at the foundry. The process was known as 'teeming'.
|painted mural depicting steel workers 'teeming'|