Artist commissioned for boardroom

5th April 2016

Sheffield based contemporary artist Paul Evans has been commissioned by Wake Smith Solicitors to produce a painting for the new boardroom as part of Year of Making Sheffield 2016.

The solicitors, who relocated to city centre offices at No 1 Velocity earlier this year, wanted to source a local artist to create a brand new piece of artwork to hang pride of place in the second floor meeting room. With the support from Yorkshire Artspace, they chose Paul, who has a studio in the city's Persistence Works. He was one of three Yorkshire Artspace artists who presented their ideas and Wake Smith were impressed by the quality of Paul's work and his enthusiasm, creativity and drive. Paul is now finalising his idea for the 1m by 2m canvas which will be completed in acrylic paint and various other materials including finely ground stainless steel, ready for the firm's official office opening event in early May. Paul, who also works in oils and watercolours, said: "The project will focus on the history of manufacturing in Sheffield, but also take inspiration from the beauty of the confluence of the rivers Sheaf and Don. It is important it is timeless and that it has a lasting identity. "I was really delighted to have been chosen by Wake Smith especially as the competition was so strong alongside artists whose work I really respect. This is an extremely exciting project and I am looking forward to seeing my final concept hanging in the boardroom." Wake Smith director Mark Serby added: "Our new boardroom needs an inspirational piece of artwork. We were very impressed by Paul's previous work and his concepts for this commission." Paul has completed commissions before including Histography at Cardiff University's Cancer Genetics Building and a painting at the Henry Wellcome Building in Cardiff during his residency there in 2010. Paul, whose work can be seen at the Cupola Gallery in Hillsborough, is currently undertaking a residency within University of Sheffield Department of Physics for nine months during Year of Making Sheffield 2016, in collaboration with The Natural History Museum in London, leading global paint manufacturer Akzo Nobel (Dulux) and Sheffield based graphic designers Human Studio. The residency involves researching and experimenting with leading physicists to develop new artworks that explore the concept of Structural Colour where colours are generated by microscopic physical structures, rather than through pigments or projected light. Outputs from this residency will lead to a series of physical and digital creations including an immersive, interactive, virtual reality colour environment, paintings using nano tech films, colour poetry, and sound art. Vanessa Toulmin, chair Sheffield Culture Consortium, director of City & Cultural Engagement, University of Sheffield said: "The Year of Making 2016 is a celebration of the city's creativity from advanced manufacturing and forged products to award winning theatre, international art and design. It's great to see Wake Smith supporting our artists and realising that artwork does not just belong in galleries."

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