Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Steve Field
‘Birth of Pegasus’, 1977
Brotherton Street, nr Pye Bank
paint (from Dulux weathershield range)


The gable end of a two storey house on Brotherton Street, nr Pye Bank.
(A-Z p87 5F)

Shows a horse with wings, rising from a Medusa’s head , which was only visible from the backyard of the house. The paint, Dulux’s new Weathershield range, was donated by Dulux. The piece is constructed upon a complex geometric design, using the colours available in the range.

It is not clear who originated this commission. Initial organisation seems to have involved both Dulux Weathershield and Sheffield City Polytechnic’s Faculty of Art & Design. At first the mural was offered to Fine Art students from the Polytechnic, and then to other students. A number of designs were considered and that of Steve Field , who was a student of Architecture at the University of Sheffield, was chosen. The artist was not paid for this work, but completed the piece as a part of his studies, with some assistance from a number of fellow students. There was no official opening for the mural.

The houseowner at the time was also a student in Architecture at the University of Sheffield. Before work began the design for the mural was displayed in a window of the house and also in the University. Steve Field canvassed opinion amongst fellow students and also residents. There was a lot of publicity given to the painting in the local press and opinion seems to have been favourable. Steve Field went on to win a National Student Award: the Crown Prize for the Use of Colour in Architecture in 1978, this mural being part of his submitted entry. He subsequently designed a second mural for Sheffield but moved away before this could be started.
Sadly this mural no longer exists, as the houses in this street were demolished in the late 1980’s. It was carried out at a time when there was a lot of national interest in murals, a number of national mural conferences were held, and most innovative public art projects of this decade seem to have been in this field. (pardon the pun) Since the mid 1980’s this interest has subsided somewhat, public art projects are more diverse in nature and many mural projects incorporate brick work or reliefs - painted murals, which have a relatively short life span tend to be for more temporary projects such as boarding surrounding major building schemes (eg. Brian Jackson's mural in Fargate)

Update [March 2010]:
The building is due for imminent demolition - faint traces of the mural are still visible on the wall.

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Last updated March 29, 2010