Inside Sheffield

Just a few Mondays ago I wished I was still in paid work. Really?
Well, only for the early morning conversations. “What did you do on the weekend?”

I had had the BEST weekend, so probably better that I didn’t go in to work that Monday. (Murdered with Paper Cuts by Jealousy in the Photocopying room).

You have already heard about our unhappy experience in Rome. This was the weekend before…

There are hidden sides to most cities, some that even locals don’t see.
For about a year and a half I have been following a handful of blogs arising from Sheffield – Postcard Cafe, Little Bits of Sheffield, NeoWatercolour and more recently Shopfronts of Sheffield. You might think with that blog roll I could probably show someone around Sheffield. No, but you can be sure I know someone who could!

My once-virtual now-real friend PC from most of those blogs recently took me and my fellow traveller on a walk around the city. Within a hundred metres of our central hotel we found a huge painting of Harry Brearley by Faunagraphic we had walked right past the day before. In our defence, we had been facing uphill and were a bit lost.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

I won’t steal PC’s thunder on these as his photography is top-notch and his links to information are spot-on. Visit his sites Little Bits of Sheffield and Postcard Cafe for the real deal! I will include a couple of quick snaps taken as we walked around.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

We entered some fairly forbidding looking territory, close to the centre of Sheffield. It was partly arty, with studio spaces and a few small galleries but many buildings looked derelict or deserted.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
I hadn’t realised my parents had been here before me!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Phlegm’s telescope

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
a collaborative work

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Even the tagging looked spectacular!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Ausstralia

Our friend and guide PC knew lots of background information about the artists and the architecture. He introduced us to EMA (just visible above, on the scaffolding). We stopped in at Site Gallery. Although their current sound and light exhibition didn’t work any magic on me, they were selling Phlegm’s recent book of drawings (which did). It is difficult to note all the other artists we saw, but think Kid Acne, Rocket01, Malarky, and Phlegm

The weather was fine with bright spots as they say in the UK. Our guided walk was full of bright spots! On reflection, PC seemed to allow us to do the discovering as we turned corners or walked to the end of an alleyway. He was a skilful guide with a vast local knowledge and interest in the buildings as well as the art.

It is a strange transition between the virtual and real worlds and this was my closest encounter with the borderline to date. It was almost magical to see the imagined become real and what better way to see it than with a really lovely fellow who stepped out from ‘behind the screen’ into the daylight.

To round out the morning PC took my partner and me out to Sharrowvale Road, a very hip part of town, to meet my other Sheffield blogging friend, Victoria from NeoWatercolour.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Photo by Postcard Cafe

What a delight that was! Victoria was just as I had expected, brimming with quiet wit and fun and surrounded by glorious colour – her beautiful work on a street stall. You too can find her outside Gilbert & Sons on Sharrowvale Road on sunny Saturdays. Snap up a print, quickly! We did.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Austtralia
These two photos by Postcard Cafe (on my equipment). Nice reflection and note the Pete McKee cartoon on the gallery window.

We strolled up the street to visit “A Month of Sundays” the gallery featured in our new print before stopping at the Bakery for coffee and buns with PC. How perfect is that? Well, you were busy Victoria. That would have been the icing on the buns, I agree.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
Here we are with our friend (and guide) PC, photo by Victoria from NeoWatercolour.

Hence my suggestion, in the photocopying room with papercuts etc…. for having such a good time.

And there was more. That afternoon my partner and I attended the wedding of a young friend who had visited us in Australia 12 years ago. It was a marvellous occasion at the Millennium Gallery whose outdoor courtyard is flanked by Phlegm’s work! Echoes of our seemingly unreal movement between worlds. What a day.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia
There were lots of swinging kilts, wild dancing and antics which would probably worry your mother.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

I wouldn’t have done much work if I had attended on that particular Monday. Memories are best savoured quietly. Work colleagues would not have understood.

But, here’s to PC and to V. See you down here sometime soon! Many thanks for your great kindness and for igniting our love of Sheffield.

And thanks for the feel-good story. I didn’t realise how much I would need it. We should have come home that Monday. We could have flown home on the ‘high’.

Drum roll……………………It’s Neo Watercolour!

Look away now!                if you don’t want to see

something bright, quirky, conversational, colourful, entertaining, bouncy, bubbly, amusing
and Beautiful!

It is “Two Pugs, Sharrowvale Road” by Victoria at Neo Watercolour. From Sheffield UK 2013!


We are proud owners of a limited edition giclee print (‘fast-tracked from the UK’ and recently retrieved from the framer)!

And here it is with the curator, in situ, so far…

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

I can’t promise she would do this for everybody, but V generously dismantled some of her sign to provide us with packing material for the Two Pugs’ journey home to Adelaide. She might be pleased (if puzzled) to know that it is now keeping nesting starlings out of our verandah roof. A temporary solution, but very useful stuff, corflute. Ten days and holding. Thanks V!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

But, back to our theme. Victoria’s way with watercolour brings it out of the scenic-wash genre into ‘urban chic’ with many a wry twist. You will be rewarded by looking closely at NeoWatercolour. Smiles and delight guaranteed! Have a look HERE.

What do you think of the red frame?

Marvellous Melbourne!

The proprietor of the fine art rat cafe (John Clinock) has requested some more street art images from Melbourne. So here goes. Once again I am sorry that the works are unattributed. Perhaps you recognise some of the sticker art. Posting these reminds me of my colleague Nigel @ Little bits of Sheffield. He knows the work and the territory of particular artists and dreams up some pretty apt titles too. No mean feat!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert

Philippa Robert

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Philippa Robert

Philippa Robert

three virtual friendships

An exciting week in which the virtual intersected happily with the actual three times!

It started on Monday when I received a lovely package of art from my friend PC at little bits of sheffield and steelcitystatic. Wonderful images of street art around Sheffield (and from the Peak district). Many seen on-screen, now held in hand! How amazing that seems, and a touch of handwriting too. Thank you for your generous gift PC.

And then this morning, an invitation from Kelly Medford. Kelly has asked a number for friends to join her to paint in Rome in October 2013.  As a virtual friend, I got a huge kick out of this! Have you seen Kelly’s blog? She is currently undertaking 120 consecutive days of painting in Italy and creating some wonderful pieces under this pressure. All 6×8″ and done with gear that she packs on a bicycle!

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

Here we are closing the studio on Sunday arvo. Free for other things!
So, it was off to town today to see some art. First stop, the National Wine Centre to see the Kangaroo Island Fine Art show on the theme of “Coast and Seagrass Meadows.” The lovely Fleur Peters from Kangaroo Island Fine Art Gallery remembered me from our last meeting in Kingscote in May when I was with my brother (the islander). As we spoke a little more and I mentioned some info from facebook, a big happy wave of recognition passed over Fleur’s face. She then said “Now I know who you are!” She knew my online persona more than my offline one!

So, three nice surprises in one week! How refreshing life can be.

Philippa Robert, Adelaide South Australia

I see now that this person is actually taking in refreshment of a different sort. Perhaps the time had come.

How about you. Have you had similar happy intersections of the virtual and the real?