Year | 2023
Location | Wentworth, Rotherham
Clients | Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust

‘Live Art’ project by students from Sheffield School of Architecture involves 100 people from marginalised groups in Rotherham and sees over 84 sqm of canvas painted in ink.

Students from the University of Sheffield’s School of Architecture have worked with staff and volunteers at Wentworth Woodhouse, Rotherham, to transform a previously unloved corner of the estate into a vibrant art installation. The 6-week project culminated in an occupation event which saw members of local Pakistani, Kashmiri and BAME groups, alongside staff, volunteers and community leaders, parade giant artworks in front of the historic house whilst being filmed by a drone.

The project was part of the School of Architecture’s ‘Live Projects’ programme, which sees Masters students take part in a series of community-led, social value projects around the South Yorkshire region. In every case, the School describes these projects as ‘happening in real time, with real clients and real people’ and it sees them as a fundamental part of its socially-driven degree course.

This project saw the team of 12 students undertake 12 community printmaking sessions on recycled bedsheets, using prints they had designed based on patterns from the Estate, Gardens, and global cultures. These reached over 100 different people, and allowed Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust to reach two groups it had previously not been able to engage with.

Alongside this, the students designed and built a structure of 90 wooden poles to display the community works in a way that was inspired by the site’s historic use as a ‘drying green’ for the adjacent house. Whilst paying homage to the site’s history, they hope the installation will set the site on course to become something more socially-oriented.

“We have set the Drying Green on course to become somewhere that the local community, particularly people who do not feel they have any part in Wentworth’s history, can really take some ownership of”, said Charlie Young, one of the young designers working on the project. “The whole programme and its future master plan is based around the ideas of people ‘making their mark’ and ‘staking their claim’ – which we think are important things for heritage places across the UK to do if they want to secure the interest of future generations in their preservation.”

Keeley Stephenson, Office Manager at Wentworth Woodhouse


Mentor: Simon Baker
Client: Wentworth Woodhouse Preservation Trust
Location: Wentworth, Rotherham
Students: Faatimah Ali, Prabhat Chhabra, Owais Abid, Emily Baker, Charles Young, Polina Yudina, Oliver Lowe, Freya Hufton, Rebecca Oldroyd, Yitong Wang, Qihang Chen, Jialei Shao