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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Clare Nadal

Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!

Tell us about you…
I am a proud first-generation northerner, born in Sheffield, where I work as an art history researcher and freelance arts writer. I spend most of my time talking or thinking about art, architecture and literature, or wandering around galleries and bookshops. I love listening to classical music on car journeys to escape the city and roam the Peak District or visit Chatsworth House.

What does Sheffield mean to you?
Although I come from Sheffield, I have moved around a lot in my life and always find myself returning to the city like a lost home. For me Sheffield represents friendliness, independent northern spirit and a garden city – I miss its greenness as soon as I am away.

What’s your favourite Sheffield place?
Whilst the list could be endless, Weston Park and Museum clinches it as my favourite Sheffield spot. There is something wonderful about having a gallery in a park and the chance it offers to experience both museum artefacts and green spaces side by side. Weston Park also borders onto Firth Hall, one of Sheffield’s few red brick buildings, and one of my favourite spaces to both perform in concerts and listen as an audience member. And if you sit by the windows in Western Bank Library you sometimes look up to find yourself being watched by ducks. The park and its surroundings really have everything you could wish for.

What would you do to improve the city?
Recently Sheffield’s independent culture, heritage and greenness have come under threat from plans to cut trees and knock down historic buildings and independent shops. I would like to see greater awareness of the preservation of architecture and heritage. It would also be good to see greater attention and investment devoted to Sheffield’s museums and galleries and the chance for Sheffield to again play host to the national touring exhibitions that I remember visiting as a child. I’d like there to be more spaces devoted to exhibiting Sheffield’s wonderful collections, rather than having so many artefacts hidden away in stores.

Latest contributions

John Hoyland: The Last Paintings

Sat. 3 July 2021 — Sun. 10 October 2021

Millennium Gallery

A tribute to a Sheffield-born abstract painter, focusing on the final decade of his life. Featuring paintings filled with a “sense of freedom and creative flowering” and never-before-exhibited work. Read more in our Clare’s exhibition review.

OFP's Sheffield gift guide

Show Sheffield's creative community some extra love after a rough year, and shop for presents the independent way this festive season with gift tips from OFP contributors.

Making Masterpieces in Sheffield & Venice

Fri. 18 October 2019

Exchange Street, S2 5TR

A big day of mural painting and drawing, followed by an evening of projections, celebrating John Ruskin and Renaissance painter Jacopo Tintoretto – happening simultaneously in Sheffield’s Castlegate and Venice.

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Seeing Beauty, Inspiring Minds

Sat. 4 May 2019 — Sun. 7 July 2019

Walkley Carnegie Library, 403 South Road, S6 3TD

A summer outdoor sculpture and street mural trail in Walkley made by local teenagers inspired by the themes of the Ruskin Collection.