Location: Crucible Theatre. Opposite Chapel Walk. The work was designed for the entrance to Chapel Walk, it would have been on the side of a church wall next door to a shoe shop. Unfortunately the church subsequently decided that the finished piece was not suitable for a number of reasons and The Crucible Theatre, which is immediately opposite the original site, agreed to take the work.
[Update 2001] The sculpture has now had to be removed from the Crucible because of a technical problem with one of the services to the theatre, which was unfortunately located in the wall immediately behind the sculpture. Understandably The Crucible are not keen to reinstall 'The Gift' as it could cause further difficulties if the technical problem happened again. A new site is being sought for it.
[Update 2008] Still no sign that this piece will be re-erected; surely the City can find a site to display work of this quality. Hopefully the refurbishment of The Crucible offers an opportunity.
Description: The relief shows an angel descending through clouds bearing a shoe, she is surrounded by other shoes. The shoe held by the angel is modelled on the artist's own wedding shoe.
Commission: One of the pieces made during the Stone City Symposium , (19 June and 16 July 1995). Five sculptors carved five stone pieces to be included in the city centre. Each artist made five initial designs for the five different sites. Paula HAUGHNEY was selected to carve a piece to be installed at the end of Chapel Walk facing the Crucible. The plaque by the piece records: 'Sponsored by Foundation for Sport and the Arts, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield Hallam University and Sheffield Development Corporation. With Thanks to Sheffield Theatres & Chapel Walk Traders'
Comment: The working title was 'The Angel and the Shoe'. The artist married her partner in hospital just before he died; this gives the piece considerable poignancy.
Artist's Statement: (from the publicity leaflet for Stone City) "My sculpture often depicts figurative subjects; simple large rounded childlike and naive, with benign faces. I hope they relate to the viewer in a spiritual almost unconscious way. Expressive and emotional, sometimes with a sense of humour. Not contemporary in a modern sculptural way but dealing with timeless issues and feelings."
For more information see also Public Sculpture of Sheffield and South Yorkshire < http://shu-primo.ho > .