Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

James Stringer
'River of Life', 2003
Saxon Road
stainless steel with panels of sheet metal

On the bank of the River Sheaf on Saxon Road, Heeley; the three gates are located opposite to Clyde Road. (A-Z p111 1E)

Gate in stainless steel with panels of sheet metal bearing cut out motifs drawn from river life.

An onsite plaque states:
'River of Life'/ Gates commissioned by / Heely Development Trust and/ 'Friends of the River Sheaf'/ Created by artist James Stringer and students at Abbeydale Grange School/ Spring 2003

This is one of three such 'Snow gates' commissioned to replace three original gates that had formerly stood on this site but had fallen into a state of disrepair. The original plan had been to restore the gates, and to add decorative features, but it was found that they were beyond repair. The idea had originated with the 'Friends of the River Sheaf' and was supported by the 'Heeley Development Trust' who subsequently took the project over. Funding came from an 'Awards for All' grant of £4,860 to cover the provision of the three gates. Six artists submitted proposals in September 2002 and, from these, three artists were commissioned to produce a gate; each to work with pupils from a different local school.

The original function of a snow gate was to give access to a river so that snow cleared from the road could be deposited there. At other times these same gates could be used to provide access for firemen in need of water. There are still a few snow gates extant in Sheffield; for example six others in Heeley.
The siting of these gates is a small part of a larger project to make the Sheaf accessible to walkers and other users so that eventually it may be possible to walk, run or cycle along paths adjacent to the river from the moors on Sheffield's western fringes to the city centre.

The other snow gates were made by:
Gillian Brent: 'Sheafscape'
Don Cameron
: 'Equilibrium'

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Last updated September 19, 2006