NO WEALTH BUT LIFE?
A film about working with Ruskin's gifts today
Between 2014 and 2019, the Guild of St George established and core-funded two projects designed to re-animate his legacy in Sheffield and the Wyre Forest. Sheffield, the city to which he gave an art collection for the benefit of its working people (now cared for and displayed by Museums Sheffield) and the Wyre Forest, because friends of Ruskin gifted his Guild productive land there which is still in our care. In 2019, the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth, both projects came to a conclusion and the Guild commissioned Taskscape Media to make this film which reflects, in the words of Guild Companions and colleagues, on the legacy of our work in these urban and rural environments. What have we learned about Ruskin’s ideas in the 21st century and how they can make a difference in people’s lives today?
The film invites us to slow down and think about how the ideas and writing of a Victorian polymath and social critic can become actions that make lives better now, in response to his visionary and challenging words, ’There is no wealth but life’. In a world which still contains too much injustice and inequality, facing a climate emergency and now (in the summer of 2020) riven with the social, political and economic impact of Covid-19, his words resonate as urgently as ever.
Ruskin in Wyre was designed to introduce new audiences to the heritage, value and current purpose of Ruskin Land, the 100 acres of oak forest, meadow and orchard in the Guild’s care, to ensure it might continue to be, in Ruskin’s words, ‘beautiful, peaceful and fruitful.’ It was funded by a grant from the National Lottery Heritage Fund and delivered by the Wyre Community Land Trust. Ruskin in Sheffield was set up to reveal John Ruskin's local heritage connections with Sheffield, re-connect communities with the arts, crafts and nature and re-imagine Ruskin's ideas to help shape better futures today. Inspired by the gift of the Ruskin Collection to the city, it involved numerous partners and collaborators across Sheffield and was supported by Arts Council England, the National Lottery Heritage Fund and other generous funders.
Film made by Taskscape Media.