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City of Sanctuary

John Wilsher:
City of Sanctuary
3rd - 25th September 2021
Exchange Place Studios

Tuesday - Saturday
10am - 4pm

The world is a beautiful but dangerous place; for thousands of years, large groups of people have travelled vast distances in search of better lives. This continues today, with persecution in oppressive or war-torn countries forcing fearful people to flee.

And what then? Despite being a country of peace and wealth, the UK is often an unwelcoming environment for people seeking refuge. Rather than making life more difficult for these vulnerable human beings in their time of need, we should provide proper support and help them to thrive.

Fortunately, Sheffield is a city that takes pride in the welcome it offers to people in need of safety, and in 2007 became the UK's first 'City of Sanctuary'. It is through voluntary work on the frontline with City of Sanctuary and Assist that artist John Wilsher has drawn inspiration for this exhibition of paintings, which celebrate success stories of individual refugees whilst shining an important light on the perilous journeys of seeking asylum.

A preview event and fundraiser on Friday 3rd September will raise money to support the valuable work undertaken by City of Sanctuary and Assist.


  • Facemasks must be worn in the gallery, unless you are exempt.

  • You will be asked to sanitise your hands as you enter.

  • You will be asked to scan our NHS Track & Trace QR code, or provide contact information.

  • Numbers in the gallery will be limited and you may be asked to wait outside.