Art Installations Set to Inspire Music Students at WaterBear Sheffield

WaterBear, the pioneering college of music, has enlisted the support of renowned artist Jim Sanders to transform its new location in Sheffield into an energetically inspiring and creative space for DIY musicians, artists and industry professionals.

Jim, now also known as WaterBear’s resident artist, has created several unique masterpieces which adorn the walls of WaterBear’s inaugural campus in Brighton, and will now bring his mesmerising talent to the North to craft bespoke, hanging panels and hand-drawn murals for WaterBear Sheffield. Complementing the city’s rich musical and cultural history, Jim will also be installing in the college, which opens in September, a selection of work that has previously been displayed at the world-famous Glastonbury Festival.

With a keen interest in sacred geometry, Jim has drawn inspiration from patterns gathered from across the continents such as those found on Greek vases, African fabrics and Aztec stone carvings, to create eye-catching images by experimenting with stencils.

Co-Founder of WaterBear, Bruce John Dickinson commented: “Jim is a very well-known artist in Brighton and exhibits all over the world so, it’s very cool that his art will feature in both WaterBear Brighton and WaterBear Sheffield. His wall hangings and stencils perfectly complement our visual aesthetic at the college, enabling us to develop creative and inspiring places for our students to work and create in.

“I was always bothered in the past by the fact that a lot of the best new music came from art schools and the street, rather than music colleges; also, that so many music students were hard to employ because they had focused so much on the technical side of their music that no one actually liked to listen to it.  Art has to express life and, after all the hours of practice and learning the craft, music has to count for something beyond technique.  The job of the artist is to stand for something, to speak for others and to put words or sounds out there that express how we may be feeling better than perhaps we could ourselves.

“That’s why Jim Sanders’ installations at WaterBear are so important. They remind all of us to think about that balance between technique and expression, and wherever you draw that line Jim’s work is a reminder that we can all push ourselves a bit further into the void if we are brave enough. We are all capable of more than we think. When we set up WaterBear we believed that by creating the right environment, with the right support and freedom to be yourself, in addition to making sure the courses allow for maximum self-expression, as well as robust technical development, then the students themselves would bring the magic. They would provide the art in spades.  And so, it has proved to be.” 

Commenting on his relationship with WaterBear Jim said: “I first met Bruce (WaterBear’s Co-Founder) quite a long time ago, he’s old friends with Dr Johnny Rabbs who is the harmonica player in our country punk brand, The Crucks. We played a gig at a local venue and Bruce was also playing with another band, and he told me about the music school in Brighton and asked me to decorate it.” Jim continued, “It’s fantastic to be associated with a music college because personally, music is more of an influence on my work than an art is, because it’s so important to me and it’s the most powerful and emotive of all the art forms.”

WaterBear offers BA (Hons) degree and master’s courses made for today’s musicians, artists and industry professionals. The college has built an unrivalled reputation for its dedication to specialist one-to-one mentoring, focused class sizes, flexible course delivery and exclusive career development opportunities. WaterBear colleges are based in the heart of Brighton and Sheffield, and also offers a range of online distance learning courses too.


Students keen to find out more about the courses on offer at WaterBear Brighton or WaterBear Sheffield, or to enrol can visit:-

WaterBear Sheffield

WaterBear Brighton

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