You’re invited to re-imagine Paradise, for an exhibition of ideas, art and photos.
Paradise is right here in Sheffield. You’ll find it backing onto a pizza restaurant, hidden away behind the Anglican cathedral, just off a narrow lane lined with office blocks. Well, a place called Paradise, at least.
Paradise Square is a pretty spot, with its Georgian townhouses and cobbled slopes. But not much stirs in Paradise these days – certainly nothing like it did a few hundred years ago.
Radical thinking and big ideas once energised this corner of Sheffield. In the late 18th century Paradise Square became the town’s main public meeting place, and for the next hundred years people came together here to consider new ways of living. Election candidates argued things out. Founders of religious movements preached their social values to crowds of thousands. And working men gathered to demand the right to vote, before troops arrived and rioting broke out.
In recent years, to borrow the lyrics of Joni Mitchell, they paved Paradise and put up a parking lot.
Cobbles remain between the tarmac, but today Paradise Square is a beautiful car park for the people who work in its surrounding offices. Beyond the 9 to 5, it falls fairly quiet around here.