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Pictures at an Exhibition

Ignite Imaginations teamed up with Music in the Round to deliver this 2017 partnership project as part of Russia in the Round Festival.

The collaborative project is inspired by ‘Pictures at an Exhibition’, Mussorgsky’s ten musical movements inspired by ten Viktor Hartmann artworks. Our project took the next step, engaging 10 Sheffield community groups create a series of 10 artworks in response to Mussorgsky’s music.

The artworks were exhibited in the Winter Gardens in Sheffield city centre in May 2017 with Tim Horton, the resident pianist from Music in the Round’s Chamber ensemble, Ensemble 360, performing Mussorgsky’s piece alongside the artworks. The exhibition went on to the Crucible Theatre, with a further performance of the musical pieces at the Crucible Studio Theatre.

Collaborative projects such as this are key to Ignite’s work, promoting the importance of connecting communities through creative practice. In addition to the dozens of participants who created the artworks from all over the city, we were thrilled that the exhibition and performance were experienced by such a large audience visiting the Winter Gardens and Crucible.


The works:

Gnomus (The Gnome)

Artwork created by Mencap and Gateway service users

Working with artist Annie Beech

The artist has the pleasure of working with two talented art groups, teachers, support workers and volunteers who came together, with an open mind, for two Friday morning sessions. They generously shared their skills and ideas working hard to create their beautiful abstract painting inspired by the grand movement of the piece.


Ballet of Unhatched Chicks

Artwork created by St Patricks School students

Working with artist Annie Beech

The artist was greeted with much enthusiasm by a lively bunch of year 3 and 4 pupils who, with good support from their class teacher, were able to share what the music brought to their imaginations and also work well together to create a colourful background.


Samuel Goldenberf & Schmuyle

Artwork created by Burton St Foundation service users

Working with artist Annie Beech

This piece was also created for an exhibition. The exhibition was displaying works made by clients with learning difficulties alongside works of art from people with dementia from the Alzheimer’s Society. There was a wide variety of ages and abilities who attended the workshop, so this work reflects the diversity and people’s different relationships with the music they heard.


Bydlo (Cattle)

Artwork created by Watercliffe Meadow Primary School pupils

Working with artist Laura Page

The group wanted to reflect the dark moodiness and the progression of the piece with the background which is dark but getting brighter at the top like a sunrise. They took the cattle and put

it on the cart so they could pull it along. They have each designed a person to represent themselves and the things they love.


Il Vecchio Castello (The Old Castle)

Artwork created by Newton Croft Sheltered Housing Scheme residents

Working with artist Caroline Cullingford

Inspired by the darkness of the composition, we chose to apply a moody colour palette with a bird motif, representing the flight and the journey of the music.


The Hut on Hen’s Legs

Artwork created by Darnall Library visitors

Working with artist Caroline Cullingford

Doodle to the music! Children were invited to use their imaginations whilst listening to the musical piece to create their own colourful drawings, and learn a finger knitting technique to create a mixed media artwork.


Tuileries (Children’s quarrels after games)

Artwork created by Cast – Art for Wellbeing Group

Working with artist Liz Von Graevenitz

Whilst listening to the music we thought of emotional responses, colours and textures that resembled the sounds of the instruments. A collaborative collage was then developed using paper cuttings from these vibrant and energetic pictures.



Artwork created by Westfield School students

Working with artist Liz Von Graevenitz

The Group listened to the music and discussed how it made them feel, thinking about colours and mark making that would resemble this visually. Experimental paintings were created using different techniques and the canvas was painted in collaboration with a fluid, energetic and vibrant style.


Limoges, The Market

Artwork created by Timebuilders: guests and volunteers at St Bart’s Foodcycle

Working with artist Liz Von Graevenitz

Whilst listening to the music we thought of our emotional responses, colours and textures that resembled the sounds of the instruments. The canvas was painted using washes and experimental mark making, The collage was then spontaneously developed using paper cuttings taken from the individual earlier paintings.


The Bogatyr Gates

Artwork created by Adullam Homes Housing Association residents

Working with artist Jordanna Farrimond

By listening to the pieces of music the group interpreted specific moments or sounds into marks and colours that seemed representative. As a group, certain marks were the selected and pieced together, colour choices were edited to create more harmony and some printed sections were overlaid.

“I think this is a very inspiring project. I can't imagine a better way for people to encounter Mussorgsky’s music for the first time than in the wonderful surroundings of the Winter Garden,

and alongside the exhibition of artworks created by people from across Sheffield. I very much hope this free performance and the live streaming of the event will encourage more people to come to other concerts in our Festival at the Crucible Studio – it’s one of my favourite places to perform and for the listener there is no greater atmosphere in which to experience live music than this space - intimate and very intense.” Tim Horton, Ensemble 360, Music in the Round

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