At midnight on March 11th 1864, the Dale Dyke Dam at Bradfield collapsed hurling seven hundred million gallons of water down into the valley below. It swept through the poorer quarter of Sheffield and continued into Doncaster destroying factories mills and homes and killing almost 300 people. The Great Sheffield Flood is considered to be perhaps the worst disaster in Victorian England. It is not a ‘popular’ disaster and is little known outside of Sheffield, yet it was an event that permanently altered the pattern of working life in the city and is firmly embedded in Sheffield folklore.
The Great Sheffield Flood of 1864 provides the focus for a new body of work by Sheffield based artist Katy Woods. For the exhibition, Woods will be showing a new video shot in Sheffield, alongside a series of archive prints. Using a combination of video and archive material, the work reflects on the disaster of 1864, which wiped out a vast part of the city, its homes and industry and considers the rapid urban growth and development occurring in cities across the country.
Landscape and places provide a particular reference point throughout Katy Woods’ practice. Overlooked occurrences, invisible places and forgotten events are made visible through a subtle reframing and emptying out process. Using her own video footage, found images and found text, Woods edits and interlaces her own narrative to create something entirely new.
Selected images from the Collection of Sheffield Libraries.
Katy Woods graduated from the MA in Fine Art at Sheffield Hallam University in 2006. She has exhibited in national and international groups shows and screenings including Art Sheffield 08: Yes, No & Other Options, Videodrome (Deus ex Machina) at the Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art,Composure at Evolution Leeds, Olsen at Lovebytes Sheffield and is currently taking part in the LUX Associate Artists Programme, London. Katy lives and works in Sheffield and is an S1 Artspace studio