Next Sheffield speaker
January 25, 8:30am • Site Gallery • part of a series on Surreal
Mir Jansen is a visual artist and currently Arts Coordinator for Sheffield Teaching Hospitals. She was a founding member of Sheffield’s S1 Artspace, followed by becoming the Programme Manager at Yorkshire Artspace for 14 years. Resuming her own creative practice in 2014.
‘I am interested in why people migrate and how people adapt to new ways of life, cultural changes, different languages. During and after my studies I was particularly interested in the notion of ‘home’- particularly the spaces and boundaries we create within the places we live in. Part of the construction of the idea of home is to create a notion of being at home, a sense of belonging. I moved to the UK in 1987 from The Netherlands where I was born but I often forget that it took time and effort to adapt to a new way of life an language.
My current project, 'At Your Service’, will be exhibited at Yorkshire Artspace, Sheffield from 27th September until 4th November as part of their Ways of Making exhibition programme. I interviewed 11 European employees of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals over the course of 1 year. Each individual talked to me about the place they came from, why they moved to the UK and each person was asked the same 6 questions: What was your reaction to Brexit? What do you miss about the country you moved from? What do you like about Sheffield? What do you like about the NHS? What are your concerns for the future of the NHS? What contribution do you think you make to life in the UK/Sheffield?’
We will be gathering at Yorkshire Artspace where Mir’s current project 'At Your Service’ is being exhibited. She will talk us through the chaos of her subject matter as we are surrounded by the works for our #CMchaos morning. Join us as we kick off our Autumn season.
September’s theme is Chaos
When you think of chaos, you might think of utter confusion, a jumbled mess, destruction, or Slack being down. But previously the word “chaos” had a different meaning. In ancient Greece, writers and thinkers described chaos as more of an abyss, an empty void that existed before life. It wasn’t until the 1600s, when it was adopted by the English language, that it grew undertones of mass confusion or pain. Life, by nature, is chaotic. And the human brain is beautifully designed to turn chaos into order. Whether through storytelling, art, or through the veneer of self-delusions, we’re built to handle the randomness and uncertainty of daily life. When a tornado rips through town, one person may see chaos where another sees a fresh start. So, then, a creative addendum: We are in control of the story we tell ourselves about the events that unfold before us. We can view chaos as a freight train hitting our soul or we can see it as a catalyst for clarity.
Arts Coordinator at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals AKA. Mir JansenThis month’s global exploration of Chaos is presented globally by MailChimp. It was chosen by our Tijuana chapter, and illustrated by ERABOY.
A community is a reflection of what we crave: belonging. Belonging is the heart of human connection. Our hardwiring is to be social creatures, to need one another. We cannot become our best selves without feeling like we belong to a tribe that sees us, respects us, and lifts us up. A sense of belonging can be fostered in many ways: food, music, volunteering, a cause. You can scan a room and see a diversity of backgrounds, ages, and skill sets—yet the common thread is shared desires and aspirations. It’s magnificently profound how simple this connection is, how deeply we all crave it, and how it changes the trajectory of our lives. The work of community is when a person walks into a room with fear and self-doubt, only to leave with a new narrative and a feeling of possibility and hope. We can give that experience to one another. It’s the work of being human. Artist and Arts Programme Manager AKA Mir Jansen. This month’s global exploration of Community was chosen by our Philadelphia chapter, and illustrated by James Olstein 👋 High five to MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com for fueling our global creative community.
As the sky darkens over Sheffield Hallam University’s Institute of Arts, and thunder claps in the distance, it’s clear the final CreativeMornings Sheffield before the summer is going to be a stormy one.And it’s not just the weather that’s stormy.Speaker for the morning, Magid Magid AKA the Lord Mayor of Sheffield, has created a storm in Sheffield and beyond. The 29-year-old is the youngest Mayor the city has seen. His inauguration photo, featuring ‘that squat’ went viral online and Magid’s now famous Doc Marten’s and yellow cap have appeared in newspapers and timelines around the world.“I told them how I was going to do my picture and they lost their shit. Because they had done it the same for 40 years.”The theme for July is Intention and clasped in Magid’s hands, written on official Lord Mayor’s paper are his own intentions for his year as Mayor.“I wanted to make the Lord Mayor role more meaningful. My first intention was to spread positive messages and champion what is good about Sheffield. I wanted to engage people on an emotional level.”With the world seemingly after a piece of Sheffield’s Mayor, Magid hasn’t stopped since his inauguration in (which happened to feature Imperial March from Star Wars) in May 2018. Thousands of people across the city have stopped him for a selfie, he’s been snapped at festivals, community events and has even been asked to ‘do the squat’ in his local supermarket.“I never expected to be Lord Mayor”Magid first moved to Sheffield aged five as a Somali refugee. After growing up in the city, he moved to Hull to study Aquatic Zoology. There, he discovered politics and became the SU president – ““I didn’t know the difference between left and right but I knew I cared about certain issues.”After university he set up a digital marketing company with a friend, then he worked for housing charity Shelter. The he joined the Green party and became a councillor, his colleagues put his name forward to be Mayor and he took up the position in May.For Magid, his intention for his remaining months as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield remains simple.“At any given opportunity I get I try and plug Sheffield, champion Sheffield and get as many people talking about Sheffield as possible.”
Words by Molly McGreevy
Magid Magid, also known as Magid Mah, is a British-Somali activist and politician who has served as the Lord Mayor of Sheffield since May 2018. His appointment has attracted significant media attention, as he is the first Somali, the youngest-ever, and the first Green Party councillor to hold the role.
Born in northern Somalia, Magid came as a child refugee to Britain in 1994. He grew up in Burngreave, Sheffield, and studied aquatic zoology at the University of Hull where he was elected president of Hull University Union. He has worked in digital marketing and was elected as a Green Party councillor on Sheffield City Council in 2016. From 2017 to 2018, he served as Deputy Lord Mayor, and in during this period he participated in the third series of the reality show Hunted. In 2018, he was chosen by the council to serve the one-year term as Lord Mayor.
We will be gathering at our head sponsor for 2018 Sheffield Institute of Arts – in the beautiful main Post office hall. See you there for this season’s final edition before our August break.
If you look closely, you can see the intention behind the action, a project, or a sassy tweet. Intention is palpable. A hand-written thank you resonates in our hearts more strongly than an email. One person standing for something pales in comparison to a community fighting for something. Beautiful work is not on accident. Beauty grows from the seed of a clear intention. How do we get better at setting clear intentions?The same way we improve at anything: with practice, self-awareness, feedback from friends, and learning how to show up more wholeheartedly.This month’s global exploration of Intention was chosen by our Nashville chapter, and illustrated by Nik Daum. Thank you to MailChimp, Adobe, and WordPress.com for supporting our global creative community. ❤️
“There’s something in our hearts that makes us want to get away from computers and make stuff”
For #CMCraft, Dave and Ol AKA Side By Side have brought along a little something for Shefield’s creatives to play with. Made with their own hands, without computers.
People are invited to have a go on a mini-golf course, that spells the world PLAY. The venue for CreativeMornings Sheffield in June is Kelham Island Museum, a place which Sheffield’s industrial past, Inside, instead of pouring their tea from the urn, people could create their own tea bag, using one of Birdhouse Tea Company’s blends, kindly provided on the morning. For breakfast it was pastries, still warm from 200 Degrees’ bakery. Craft ran through the morning – from the venue to the breakfast to the speakers.
Speakers for the morning are Oliver Booth and Dave Greasley, lifelong friends who grew up together, studied apart, and came back together to start design agency Side By Side. Brought together by a shared desire to just start doing things, Side By Side did exactly that.
“If you do good shit, more good shit will come.”
The good shit began small, with a cluttered studio that soon grew into a workshop next door, then came jobs for Sainsbury’s, and a project with Sheffield City Region. Then something entirely otherworldly…
“Graham Grimm is a thrifty old chap who has the ability to see magical beings, and opened up a shop to sell stuff magical beings need.”
Grimm and Co is a charity based in Rotherham which works to improve the literacy skills of children. Not just a charity, Grimm and Co is also a shop, which exclusively sells the essentials for magical beings. Though humans are welcome to purchase too, of course.
Side By Side were tasked with creating the Grimm and Co world. From black market meat sellers behind tiny doors to secret doors concealed in bookcase to a slide disguised as Jack’s beanstalk. Side By Side helped to create a world to ignite imaginations and help kids fall in love with reading and writing. They used creativity and craft, rather than computers and programmes, and made something to help the town for years to come.
“You have created something profoundly astonishing in the heart of our broken town.” – Year 5 teacher.
Grimm and Co is still open for business, and still helping kids, with profits made from the shop helping to fund the charity’s work.
Side By Side continue to craft, making exclusive notepads for CreativeMornings Sheffield. They do remind people of one lesson they have learnt on their journey…don’t let smoke bombs off indoors.
Words by Molly McGreevy