An Archive of Ideas



Gravity is a forum for discussion of the significance and diversity of material practices in contemporary art to stimulate dialogue on issues of art and culture. The project encompasses a wide range of artistic traditions and takes a broad interdisciplinary approach to making and thinking about art. Alongside our research initiatives, we run a lecture series based in the Fine Art subject area at Sheffield Institute of Art at Sheffield Hallam University. Dynamic discussions connect art practice to science, architecture, literature, film and technology. Attracting students from across undergraduate, postgraduate and research areas as well as a public audience, Gravity has presented a series of presentations each year based on themes such as Beauty, Colour, Atmosphere and Pleasure to illuminate under-explored aspects of art practice and contribute to new interpretations and understanding of creative research.

Through Gravity we hope to understand better how countless theories of the material world affect the object, but, at the same time, often leave it untouched, leaving us grasping for words to describe the affect that things have upon us. Gravity is currently led by Penny McCarthy, Andrew Sneddon, and Becky Shaw.



GRAVITY 2010-2011
Guests: Jeremy Deller, Edmund de Waal, Karla Black, Ian Kiaer, Simon Bill, Martin Boyce,  Lubaina Humid, Jocelyn Cammack, Kim Pace


GRAVITY 2011-12

Guests: David Batchelor, Roger Palmer, Alison Turnbull, Sarah Staton, Gareth Fisher, Keith Farquar, Emma Talbot, Cathy Naden (Forced Entertainment), Becky Shaw, Penny McCarthy


GRAVITY 2012-13
Guests: Rosalind Nashashibi, Adam Chodzko, Wendy McMurdo, Mark Durden (Common Culture), Robert Clark



GRAVITY 2013-2014
Guests: Keith Harrison, Steven Pippin, Thomas Hylander, Laura Potter, Cohen van Balen studio, Ruth Proctor



GRAVITY 2014-15
Please check back for confirmed guests but do read our introduction!