Storm Cloud

19th June 2024, 12th October 2024

The Guild is delighted to be a supporting partner in a long-term multi-media project conceived by artist and performer Tom Payne, inspired by John Ruskin’s 1884 lecture ‘Storm-Cloud of the 19th Century’.


This year will see artist and performer Dr Tom Payne bring to fruition a new immersive version of Ruskin’s 1884 lecture ‘Storm-Cloud of the 19th Century’. Storm-Cloud takes Ruskin's lecture as a creative departure point for an interdisciplinary exploration of the climate crisis.  Audiences will get to see two bold and ambitious events throughout 2024, including a performed reading of the lecture at the Crucible Playhouse on 19 June. Created using the text of Ruskin’s lecture by an interdisciplinary team of artists led by Dr Tom Payne, with dramaturgical focus by Terry O’Connor, and presented as a special one-off performance at The Crucible Playhouse; we anticipate that tickets will be on sale soon. This event features original composition by David John Brady,  motion design by Jake Goodall,  illustrations by Billy Hughes and Penny McCarthy, digital media production by Richard Mather and Anne Doncaster and archival research by Ashley Gallant. 


Audiences will also be able to see an immersive version of the lecture that will premiere at No Bounds festival on 12 October. The Storm-Cloud event at No Bounds festival will combine live performance, spoken text, digital projection, and a unique weather soundscape to conjure a striking atmosphere of environmental dis-ease that evokes the climate crisis. Audiences will be submerged into this adaptation of Ruskin’s Storm-Cloud and will experience a deluge on all senses. The performance will be held at SADACCA’s G-Mill, a former steel smelting pot in the heart of the Wicker, which has now been repurposed into the Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association serving the local community.


The team aim to instigate a programme of Ruskin inspired arts-led public engagement across Sheffield from summer 2024, opening pathways for more people today to access Ruskin’s work and ideas today as we present this contemporary iteration of the Storm-Cloud lecture and establish a platform for further collaboration in the UK and beyond. Project partners include Sheffield Museums, Sheffield Theatres, Space Hub Yorkshire, Invisible Dust, The Guild of St George, Sheffield and District African Caribbean Community Association (SADACCA), The Green Estate Community Interest Company, Sheffield Hallam University. Supported with mentoring from Tim Etchells (Forced Entertainment).

Image above by Becky Payne