Approved: 16.08.2006

Gillian Brent

Artist, Gallery educator

Approved: 16.08.2006



    Artist Statement

    Gillian’s sculpture is rooted in Modernist principles of manipulating form, space and material; she utilises these to address contemporary concerns about the affective power objects have over us, and their intrinsic value.

    Gillian constructs sculpture in steel, with additional elements in other materials such as wood, stone, concrete and Jesmonite. She creates spatial and dynamic configurations that synthesise her observations, allude to function and suggest new narratives. Her work process is responsive and organic, using fairly simple techniques to construct sculpture from collections of elements. The space within and around her sculptures becomes activated by the physical materials. Working with balance and gravity is an important of her making process; physical, visual and conceptual.

    She has been constructing sculpture using steel rod and sheet for many years. She often use materials which already have a history of being shaped or worked, although she manipulates and forms new materials as well. She has recently begun incorporating found and cast forms and objects into her sculpture to create mass and volume and bring a new focus on subjectivity and shared experience. She often uses discarded domestic objects as sculptural forms, that retain their familiarity yet take on alternative roles in their relation to other materials and to the spatial dynamics of the sculpture. She is interested in how the forms can be repurposed rather than the nostalgia the objects generate, although she isn’t able to control how others see them. She casts some of these objects in Jesmonite, transposing them into a new material to alter their physicality and remove them another step from their history.

    In parallel with her studio practice, Gillian works as an artist in a learning and engagement context on arts projects, public commissions and research programmes in partnership with galleries, universities, public and community organisations.


    CV & Education

    Solo exhibitions
    2018 - 'What are we going to do with all this Stuff?'. DINA, Sheffield
    2008 - 'Thicket', Persistence Works, Sheffield
    2006 - 'Outlook', Derby Museum & Art Gallery, Derby
    2006 - 'Outlook', Pickford's House Museum, Derby
    2006 - 'Outlook', The Architecture Centre, Bristol
    2004 - 'Surface Tension', Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire
    2001 - 'Standing Ground', Wysing Arts, Cambridge
    2001 - 'Timesight', 20-21 Visual Arts Centre, Scunthorpe
    2000 - 'Building Sight', Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery, Doncaster
    1999 - New steel sculpture, The Orangery, Rufford Craft Centre, Nottingham
    1999 - 'Steel placement', Sanctuary Courtyard, Upper Chapel, Sheffield
    1998 - 'Household Names' , Stockport Art Gallery, Stockport
    1994 - Wall-based Sculpture, Dean Clough Galleries, Halifax
    1990 - Woodlands Art Gallery, London
    1988 - Worcester City Art Gallery

    Group exhibitions

    2022 - Winter Group Show, Linden Hall Studio, Deal, Kent.
    2022 - Harley Open 2022, Harley Gallery, Welbeck, Nottinghamshire.
    2021 - Winter Group Show, Linden Hall Studio, Deal, Kent.
    ‘Who Are We? – Navigating Race, Class and the City’, Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery, London.
    2021 - ‘We Are Still Here – Four Women Making Abstract Sculpture’, Exchange Place Studios, Sheffield.
    ‘Matter Out of Place’, Material Voice, Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works, Sheffield.
    2020 -  Winter Group Show, Linden Hall Studio, Deal, Kent.
    2020 -  Bloc Members Show 2020, Sheffield.
    ‘Opening Matters’, This Stuff Matters, Unit 3 projects, London.
    2019 - 'What is the Matter? Materials, Commodities, Narratives', Kelham Island Museum, Sheffield
    2019 - Testing:2019, Unit 3 Project, London
    2011 - Creekside Open, APT Gallery, London
    2007 - Annual exhibition, Newby Hall Sculpture Park, Ripon (since 2002)
    2004 - 'Secret Garden', Millennium Galleries, Sheffield
    2000 - Sampled, Rotherham Art Gallery
    1999 - Inside Out, Art Co, Leeds
    1998 - House Room, Ruskin Craft Gallery, Sheffield
    1998 - Two Person Exhibition with Monair Hyman, Wrexham Arts Centre
    1996 - Engineering Art, Swan Hunter Shipyard, Wallsend
    1996 - Outer Limits, Two Person Show, Mid Pennine Gallery, Burnley
    1993 - Metal Sculpture, Angel Row Gallery, Nottingham

    2012 - Underscore, The Hepworth Wakefield, Wakefield

    Public commissions
    2021 - ‘Seats and table’, Bashley Road Travellers Site, North Acton, London.
    2017 - ‘Interconnect’, Nottingham YMCA
    2016 - ‘School of Makers’, wall panels, Manor Lodge Primary School, Sheffield.
    2014 - ‘Ocean chest’, handling artwork for people with Dementia, Queens Medical Centre, Nottingham.
    2013 - 'Worry nuts' & 'Untangling memories', Leicestershire Open Museum, Leicestershire
    2012 - 'Bird's Eye View', Laughton Common, commissioned by Rotherham MBC
    2007 - 'From the undergrowth', Fairholmes Visitor Centre, Derbyshire
    2007 - 'Rain:slow filter:clean water', Manor Fields Sustainable Urban Drainage System, Sheffield
    2007 - Ten 'megaflowers', Edlington Victoria Primary School, nr Doncaster
    2006 - Lead artist, Westfield School PFI new build, Sheffield
    2006 - 'Seven ages', Southmead, Bristol
    2006 - Window screens, Greenhill Library, Sheffield
    2005 - 'Megaflowers', Woodseats Junior School, Sheffield
    2005 - Sculpture sign, Brazley Community Centre, Bolton
    2003 - Lead artist, new build Space for Sports and Art, Netherthorpe Primary School, Sheffield 2003 - Lead artist, new build Space for Sports and Art, Southey Green Junior School, Sheffield

    Gallery learning
    2009-present - Associate Artist, Nottingham Contemporary
    2010-present - Artist, The Hepworth Wakefield
    2019 - David Smith workshops, Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    2016 - Art Sheffield tours for young people, Site Gallery, Sheffield
    2015 - 'Learning Together' action research with families, Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
    2012 - Chatsworth Education Trust, Chatsworth House, Derbyshire.
    2007 - Shape of Ideas, Tate Liverpool/Rolls Royce , Liverpool and Derby
    2005 - Particolare=detail, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham 
    2004 - Shape of Ideas, Tate Liverpool/Rolls Royce, Liverpool and Derby

    2010 - 'Wall garden', Bollo Brook Youth Centre, South Acton, London
    2009 - 'Changing space', Creative Partnerships Sheffield, Stannington Infants School, Sheffield 2009 - Sculpture for Travellers' sites made with young people, Southwark Travellers Action Group, London
    2009 - Three year change school programme, Creative Partnerships, Norfolk Community Primary School, Sheffield 2009 - Two year change school programme, Creative Partnerships, Armthorpe Tranmoor Primary School, Doncaster
    2007 - Inside out, Creative Partnerships, Sir Harold Jackson Primary School, Sheffield
    2007 - Looking to the Sky, CapeUK/Creative Partnerships Sheffield, Manor Lodge Community Primary School, Sheffield
    2006 - Creative partner , Creative Partnerships Sheffield, Spring Lane College Inclusion Support Unit, Sheffield
    2005 - 'Mood mapping', Herringthorpe Junior School, Rotherham