News / Art

Artist Alex Chinneck reveals plans for Sheffield’s “largest art commission ever”

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Onwards & Upwards: Alex Chinneck

Today (20 September), four sizeable red brick chimneys – each one broken, contorted or twisted – have been unveiled an “immersive sculptural experience” linking Sheffield and Rotherham in what is the largest art commission ever for the area.

The chimneys, known collectively as Onwards & Upwards, are the work of artist Alex Chinneck, whose sculptures have featured heavily on It’s Nice That over the years.

100,000 bespoke curved bricks will be used in the construction of the four towers, each of which will tower 30 metres high across a distance of a mile. The chimneys replace the Tinsley cooling towers which were demolished nearly a decade ago. Alex’s permanent proposals for Sheffield are a cracked chimney shattered into 250 pieces and lit from the inside, a “floating” chimney, two learning chimneys which create a bridge and an apparently knotted chimney.

Alex, who was appointed for the project last year, commented of Onwards & Upwards: “Tinsley has a proud and important industrial heritage and many chimneys once lined the canal. Through a process of architectural re-introduction, sculptural re-imagination and modern manufacturing, we have attempted to create a regionally relevant and nationally significant cultural attraction.

“The artwork is being made for Sheffield, by Sheffield, and represents a monumental achievement that is only possible by working in partnership with the unrivalled concentration of world-class companies found in the city.”

The cabinet member for culture, parks and leisure, Councillor Mary Lea added: “Alex’s proposal is truly born of the place – knitting together its fascinating past and present, and evolving through collaboration with local businesses. We hope this permanent sculpture will be embraced by the community and enjoyed by people from far and wide.”

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Onwards & Upwards: Alex Chinneck
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Onwards & Upwards: Alex Chinneck
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Onwards & Upwards: Alex Chinneck
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Onwards & Upwards: Alex Chinneck