Quotes For Hope fly high in Sheffield’s Fitzalan Square

Quotes For Hope fly high in Sheffield’s Fitzalan Square

23 March 2021

A striking new art installation, designed to inspire the people of Sheffield throughout the pandemic, is now flying high in Sheffield’s Fitzalan Square.

Quotes For Hope, by Sheffield artist Sally Wilson and commissioned by DINA arts organisation, sees 36 colourful banners hung up across the square, each bearing messages of optimism and inspiration provided by a mixture of Sheffield’s famous citizens from the world of music, visual arts and theatre, along with youngsters from Ellsemere Children’s Centre.

The contributors all are from Sheffield or have strong connections to the city, including presenter Michael Palin, Crucible director Rob Hastie, musician Richard Hawley, Radio 1 DJs Toddla T and Annie Mac and their sons Oisin and Riley, Heaven 17’s Martyn Ware, DJ Winston Hazel and electro-pop icon Roisin Murphy.

Artist in charge Sally Wilson, said: “Music, performance and the arts are so important in reminding us who we are and what we can be, just look at the musical Standing At The Sky’s Edge.

We felt it was important to connect and reach out to people during these times and use art like a medicine. The idea was to make connections, and create visible bonds with others by offering positive messages revealing our best washed thoughts strung on a clothes line to air.”

DINA Director Deborah Egan said: “Quotes For Hope is an inspiring project and a love letter to the city from some of its best known people. It is free and for everybody.

 “It is a funny, uplifting experience that you can take in it just by looking out of the bus window or walking across the square.”

The contributors were asked for quotes of no more than 72 characters for the banners that will appear in the square between March 22 until April 23. 

DINA's curator Evelyn Albrow said: "Early this year we asked Sheffield artists and creators what do you find motivating, moving and inspiring in current times and can you offer the people of Sheffield some words to make them smile?"

 “The response was amazing and an indication of the mindset of the people who work in our business. Everyone we approached, regardless their celebrity status, were more than happy to contribute and offer their ideas for the benefit of the city.”

Evelyn added: “We would like to offer a big thank you to all the people who took part so freely. Sally and I felt that it was just as important to include the next generation of Sheffielders alongside the famous so amongst these cultural producers are the voices of city pre-schoolers from workshops we held at Ellesmere Children’s Centre where they told us what makes them happy.

We are delighted with the work that Sally has done and the fantastic responses we’ve received from artists, theatre makers and musicians connected to the city. One thing you can rely on is that creative people and children will never be short of a few choice words, and as people suffer from increased anxiety and challenges to mental health it is good to laugh and enjoy things that everyone can appreciate.”

Arts organisation, DINA, were previously housed in a venue on Cambridge Street which unexpectedly had to close during lockdown due to the council’s redevelopment plans for that area.

Despite this challenge, they have successfully taken on new premises in central Sheffield next to Sheffield Hallam University's Institute of Arts and over-looking the newly landscaped square. Quotes For Hope marks DINA's return and the opening of their new venue at 12 Fitzalan Square .

During lockdown DINA has run a celebrated programme of events working with hundreds of members of the public and international artists, supported by Arts Council England. They officially open the doors of their new venue later in June, in line with the government's easing of lockdown restrictions for live venues.

For more information visit: www.dinavenue.com