Over the past ten years Mason’s work has explored an expansive range of subjects, approaches and mediums. In the third of a series of commissions challenging artists to create large-scale works in the public realm, he responds to urban regeneration and the evolving city in the twenty first century.
“When I first moved to Sheffield ten years ago, walking around this area you could still hear the sound of hammers and metal presses (the area used to be the heart of cutlery production in the world)… now that sound has all but disappeared and one is more likely to hear the sound of bands practicing or meet artists working in the many former workshop buildings… but as rents rise and the old ramshackle buildings are replaced by offices and city living apartments one can’t help feel a little under threat… but that’s progress I guess…
In this work I liked the way the new central Sheffield fire and rescue station (being built opposite Bloc) could be seen as menacing (the 7ft fence they’ve built to protect the building site. the huge machines that are leveling the old buildings to the ground), but also announces the coming of possible salvation… I also liked the way it was ambiguous what was coming (the Builders? Their Machines? The Firemen? The Buildings Themselves?)”
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