‘Rain’ – ‘Passers-by seem drawn to these polished spheres.’

‘Rain’ – Millennium Square, Sheffield. Image: Cassini International

Let’s talk about Colin Rose, sculptor, printmaker, and lecturer. He was born in Newcastle upon Tyne in 1950 and studied at the Polytechnic and University there.

Over the years he has worked in a variety of mediums from mirror polished stainless steel to stone. More unusually he has worked with Rope, Brick and even Coal Dust depending on the requirement of the brief.

But what is his connection to Sheffield?

Colin Rose. Sculptor and printmaker. Image: Cheeseburn

He was the winner of a design competition in 2003 which resulted in a ‘blue space’ water feature that is representative of Millennium Square.

‘Rain’ is designed to evoke the falling of rain drops upon the ground, with the small pools at the base of each steel ball creating the ripple effect.

The steel balls, of which there are nine spheres in varying sizes up to 2m in diameter, symbolise the steel, craftsmanship, stonework, and water, which are symbolic of Sheffield’s industrial heritage.

The water sparkles at night due to dozens of colour-changing LED lights set in the paving, and into the rim of the pools under each of the steel ball raindrops.

Rose’s commissions can be seen throughout the UK and include: ‘Meteor’ – Jodrell Bank, ‘You – Genome Centre, Cambridge, StarBall – EBI, Cambridge, ‘Swirl Cone – Carmarthen, and 10 Swirl – Gateshead.

While developing his practice Colin taught fine art and was head of Sculpture at Sunderland University from 2000 till 2006.

Steel reflection. ‘Rain’ – Millennium Square, Sheffield. Image: DJP/2020

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