''[art] makes people in Parson Cross think that people care about them....it makes me proud of my roots.'' Kath from Roses Hardware, Margetson Crescent, Parson Cross. Click here to listen to full interview as broadcast on BBC Radio Sheffield's Breakfast show on 2nd March 2013.
In 2010, with support from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England, we made a fairly brave decision to entirely shift our city centre focused Artist in Residence programme out to the Sheffield neighbourhoods of Manor Oaks and Parson Cross. Our new studios that opened in 2010 and 2011 allowed us to have artists working permanently in the heart of these two communities and offered a base from which our resident artists could engage with, inspire and be inspired by local people. It was a risk. Maybe our new neighbours wouldn't think this was such a great idea. Kath showed us that the risk was worth taking.
On Saturday 2nd March at the Library Learning Zone in Parson Cross we held I heart PX; a book launch and celebration event to mark the end of Ania Bas' residency in the neighbourhood. Free copies of Ania's book PX Story were given away and it was also a chance to take part in free creative activities; badge making was incredibly popular, as was the mask making and giant cross stitch. Library staff said it was one of their busiest Saturdays ever. The day was not without its controversy, however the overriding love for Parson Cross won out on the day! But read for yourself: PX Story contains many view-points on Parson Cross positive and negative alike - download a by clicking here or request a hard copy by emailing Rachael Dodd.
PX Story is a work of fiction inspired by contemporary Parson Cross and developed by artist Ania Bas during her year-long residency in the neighbourhood. Ania says of her time in the area “Parson Cross has been a well of inspiration. The estate is perceived in a very certain way by the people from the outside, who often have never visited, but know the estate’s reputation. There is of course the insiders’ view, the view from people who have lived here all their lives and made the neighbourhood their home. As a representative of the outside, someone who ‘goes to sleep in a nicer part of the town’ and ‘has a posh and foreign accent’ I felt privileged to meet so many Parson Cross residents, was welcomed by them and had a chance to get to know them. In the book I tried to capture this ongoing outside-inside tension alongside telling the story through lives of individuals, men and women, young and old, in love and in despair, wealthy and poor.”
Click here to see the article published in the Sheffield Star on Tuesday 5th March.