John Ruskin believed that the move from hand crafted objects to machine made mass-produced goods during the industrial revolution was detrimental to workers, physically, mentally and emotionally. He thought that industrialisation removed workers from the artistic process and as a result from nature itself. Ruskin felt that this dehumanized the worker and led to a loss of dignity. Ruskin advocated producing art and craft as he thought it brought “the hand, the head and the heart” together, helping to create a more purposeful and fulfilling way of life. This display takes Ruskin’s thinking as inspiration and explores how taking part in creative activities and producing hand crafted objects can improve people’s lives today.
Alongside objects from the Ruskin collection there are artworks made within education and community settings, including Sheffield’s Freeman College. These settings range from educational programmes that use creativity and craftsmanship to develop self-awareness and confidence to artworks created as part of a therapeutic process. This includes projects that utilise creativity to improve mental health and wellbeing such as Combat Stress and Fine Cell Work as well as artworks created by individuals to raise awareness of grief and loss such as the Aids Memorial Quilt and the Yorkshire Speak Their Name Suicide Memorial Quilt
Sheffield Museums would like to thank Combat Stress, Fine Cell Work, Freeman College, Hardwick Hall (National Trust), Yorkshire Speak Their Name Suicide Memorial quilt, The Terrance Higgins Trust and the UK AIDS Memorial quilt partnership for their support in creating this display.
Please visit their websites to find out
Fine Cell Work
Yorkshire Speak Their Name Suicide Memorial Quilt
Terrance Higgins Trust
UK AIDS Memorial Quilt
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