Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield
Hallam University PUBLIC ART IN SHEFFIELD
'River of Life', 2003
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
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.