There’s a new gallery on the block. Sidney + Matilda is the latest addition to Sheffield’s vibrant contemporary arts scene, located in a prime spot on the edge of the Cultural Industries Quarter.
Artist, curator, producer and general entrepreneur Al Daw founded the gallery and social club in a former paper factory. The idea to set up a space here in Sheffield came off the back of his past experience with self-initiated projects across various sites in London, along with his fascination in Sheffield’s dormant industrial buildings.
Al set up Sidney + Matilda to challenge some of the traditional hierarchical models that exist in the art world. A key way that the space achieves this is that it also functions as a bar and a club, opening itself up to a multitude of people and encouraging an alternative gallery experience that is both unpretentious and takes art seriously at the same time.
The current exhibition Flat + Earth is curated by local painter Joanna Whittle. It features 15 award-winning painters from across the UK, with a mixture of local talent along with artists from much further afield. This exhibition will be followed by We Are Never Going To Do This Again by international artist collective Tundra, which takes a sideways look at the current position of Brexit.
In addition to presenting challenging new exhibitions Sidney + Matilda will also be transforming a portion of the building into a private, sub-level members club complete with prohibition-esque whisky bar and a busy calendar.
With its current exhibition programme, evening socials titled Thirst Thursday (on the first Thursday of the month) and ambitions to transform the space into an arts hub, Sidney + Matilda is making quite the impact. It’s an exciting and welcome newcomer to the area and one that promises to be the perfect hangout for art lovers and culture vultures from across South Yorkshire.
- Words by
- David McLeavy