New Mellor exhibition celebrates centenary of steel

4th October 2013

A unique exhibition showcasing a diverse range of work by the influential designer and metalworker David Mellor has opened in the heart of Sheffield's cultural industries quarter.

Sir Christopher Frayling, cultural historian and former chairman of Arts Council England, opened Sheffield Hallam University's David Mellor: Steel and Light exhibition last night (2 October) at the University's Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery. The exhibition celebrates the 100 years since the development of stainless steel by metallurgist Harry Brearley, and commemorates the fiftieth anniversary of Mellor's Symbol range of cutlery. Sir Christopher said: "David Mellor saw his favourite city, the city of steel, changing and created this world of his own, keeping alive the traditions of Sheffield and adapting stainless steel to mass manufacture for the first time with the Symbol range. "This is the first Mellor exhibition I've seen that concentrates on the material, starting with the Symbol range but looking at all the other things he designed - not just cutlery but street furniture. So the material and that particular range of cutlery, with its symbolism for Sheffield, is the organising device of this exhibition. I like that a lot." David Mellor's son, Corin, attended the official opening of the exhibition. He said: "This exhibition puts a completely new perspective on my father's work. Our family's got a long connection with Sheffield and its successive art schools. My father started at the junior art department way back in 1942, and I think it's lovely that this relationship continues right up to 2013. "I really do thank the University for wanting to do this exhibition, and we're honoured that they've done such a super job." David Mellor, Royal Designer for Industry, was best known for his cutlery and metalwork design, but also worked on other design projects, such as redesigning the national traffic light system in the 1960s. Born in Sheffield, he began his metalwork training at Sheffield College of Art, one of Sheffield Hallam University's founding colleges. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate from the University. Corin Mellor will receive an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam in November, for his contribution to British design and manufacturing. He has also designed the walkway for the University's new building on Charles Street, which is expected to be completed by 2015. The free exhibition, David Mellor: Steel and Light, is being shown in Sheffield Hallam's Sheffield Institute of Arts Gallery until Sunday 3 November 2013.

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