This website uses cookies. Read more about our cookie/privacy policy.

Accept and Close

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

Seiko Kinoshita

In the entrance hall of Sheffield Central Library, a rush of blue and purple cascades from the ceiling and down the stairwell: a flutter of birds, frozen in time and suspended in the air. Made from 580 pieces of hand-dyed and woven paper yarn, the stunning installation is called Blue Bird, and was created in 2007 by textile artist Seiko Kinoshita. Despite its size it is quite an unassuming sculpture, that gently draws the eye upwards as it leads the way to the Graves Gallery. It brings inside a sense of nature, gives breath to an otherwise inexpressive space, and – typical of much of Seiko’s woven work – has an incredibly peaceful effect on the beholder.

Seiko first came to the UK from Japan to study an MA in textile design. She was then taken into the two-year Starter Studio Programme at Yorkshire Artspace’s Persistence Works, where she continues to dye and weave her yarns at the huge dobby loom in her studio – which you can have a good look round in person at the annual Open Studios weekend.

How would you describe your work?
As a textile artist I use dying and weaving techniques to create installations for specific spaces. More recently, I enjoy incorporating alternative materials and new techniques using the same sensibility.

What inspires you?
Everyday life and nature.

What is your workspace like?
I love my studio with its big old dobby loom taking up much of the room. It’s probably the most comfortable place in the world for me.

What do you love about Sheffield?
Surrounded by beautiful nature, our city is full of interesting, artistic people.

Update: in 2019 Seiko created a socially engaged art installation called Thread in Belper, a historic Derbyshire mill town and World Heritage Site. Scroll down for a short film documenting this project, by filmmaker Daniella Sasaki.

Thread by Seiko Kinoshita for Derwent Valley Mills World Heritage Site, film by Daniella Sasaki

You might also like...

Fronteer Gallery

An artist-run showcase for contemporary art. Fronteer offers space to display, view and buy original artwork in a welcoming environment. Look out for upcoming exhibitions.

The Art House

A workshop space and occasional gallery, hidden away off busy Division Street. Try your hand at pottery, life drawing, textiles and watercolour, or join in a 'sip and paint' session over wine.

Yorkshire Artspace

Over a hundred artists have made their home at Yorkshire Artspace. Once a year, its two sites become galleries for Open Studios weekend, a fantastic opportunity to see inside the workspaces of some of Sheffield’s creative residents.

No Bounds

A weekend of bleeps, beats and sweaty grins. Bringing together music, visual art, and technology. No Bounds 2023 has been postponed – the festival will return in October 2024. Details TBC.