Diaries Magazine

Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

Posted on the 23 March 2019 by Rachael Dunne @WhatRachDidNext

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For as long as I can remember I’ve been a fan of street art. The artist who has captured my heart more than any other is Phlegm. His large scale, monochrome murals depict the stories of gentle looking giant, fantasy creatures who inhabit industrial landscapes. Their expressions make the giants seem sad, weary and desperate to share with us their tales from another world. Phlegm’s curious creatures can now be seen in his latest exhibition, ‘The Mausoleum Of The Giants’.

Giant Other Worldly Creatures

I was instantly captivated by Phlegm’s unique style and subject matter the first time I saw his work. He paints with so much intricate detail and the more you look, the more you see in every piece. This is art that you can get completely lost in, that transports you to another time and place. It makes you wonder who the Giants are, what they’ve been through and why they look so forlorn.

The first piece of street art I saw by Phlegm was the one featured above. It can be seen from the bridge on the approach to the Riverside pub in Sheffield. Since seeing this, it has been my dream to travel the world and seek out all of Phlegm’s giants. So far I’ve managed Manchester, Sheffield and Berlin but hey, a girl’s gotta start somewhere right?

The Giants can be seen in urban spaces all over the world. It’s almost as if together, they tell the tale of a lost civilisation that inhabited the earth many moons ago.

Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

Phlegm mural depicting one of the poor giants carrying an entire city on his back. Or maybe he has the weight of the world on his shoulders?

" data-orig-size="750,1000" aperture="aperture" />Another Phlegm mural which can be found on Westfield Terrace in Sheffield, just down the hill from an amazing little coffee shop called Tamper

The Mausoleum of the Giants – From Street-Art to Sculpture

The ‘Mausoleum of the Giants’, is an exhibition that brings the giants to life as 3D sculptures. When I heard about it, I absolutely had to go! You will find the Giants in a disused cutlery factory in Sheffield. It can only hold 30 people at a time. Given its enormous popularity, we aimed to get there early. Despite that, we still queued for an hour and a half outside and a further 20 minutes once inside. Please don’t let that put you off going – see below note on pizza!

  • Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

    The same Giant from a different angle looking at home in his space

    " data-orig-size="565,1000" sizes="(max-width: 565px) 100vw, 565px" data-link="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/mde-4/" data-image-title="First Giant" data-orig-file="https://i1.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_114438.jpg?fit=565%2C1000&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" aperture="aperture" />Same Giant, different angle
  • Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

    The Plaque on the wall outside the exhibition that welcomes you to the Mausoleum of the Giants

    " data-orig-size="1000,1000" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" data-link="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/psx_20190323_114255/" data-image-title="Phlegm Plaque" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_114255.jpg?fit=1000%2C1000&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" data-id="2500" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_114255.jpg?fit=300%2C300&ssl;=1" data-permalink="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/psx_20190323_114255/" data-image-meta="{" alt="The Plaque on the wall that welcomes you to the Mausoleum of the Giants" aperture="aperture" />Plaque welcoming us to the Mausoleum of the Giants
  • Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

    One of Phlegm’s smaller Giants that welcomes you into the exhibition. To put into perspective, about 10 ft tall

    " data-orig-size="750,1000" sizes="(max-width: 750px) 100vw, 750px" data-link="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/rbsh/" data-image-title="One of Phlegm’s Giants" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_114413.jpg?fit=750%2C1000&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" data-id="2501" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_114413.jpg?fit=225%2C300&ssl;=1" aperture="aperture" />The first of Phlegm’s Giants that welcomes you into the exhibition

The industrial setting seems quite fitting for these ancient-looking creatures. The surroundings seem to accentuate the size of the giants making them seem cramped and helpless. Particularly the largest one in the central chamber. It really made me feel quite overcome with emotion as I walked into the room.

After pulling myself together, I had fun exploring the outlying rooms where other species of mini-giants have come to rest.

Phlegm – The Mausoleum Of The Giants Exhibition, Sheffield

The largest of Phlegm’s Giants lying in the central chamber of the cutlery factory

" data-orig-size="1000,763" sizes="(max-width: 1000px) 100vw, 1000px" data-image-title="Largest Giant" data-orig-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_120048.jpg?fit=1000%2C763&ssl;=1" data-recalc-dims="1" data-medium-file="https://i2.wp.com/www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/PSX_20190323_120048.jpg?fit=300%2C229&ssl;=1" data-permalink="https://www.whatrachdidnext.co.uk/bsh/" aperture="aperture" />Phlegm’s largest Giant tragically lying on the floor in the central chamber

I probably shouldn’t share any more of my own experience in case I ruin it for anyone who still wants to go. If you would like to experience it for yourself, you can find out the full details on the exhibition website. It really is a truly magical experience that makes you wonder what kind of world the Giants came from. I promise to come back later and add more pictures later on for anyone who doesn’t get the chance to go. It’s only due to run until the 6th of April 2019 so don’t dilly dally if you’re a fan.

Could This Be The End Of The Giants?

After seeing this exhibition, I can’t help but wonder about the future of Phlegm’s giants. The title of the exhibition, ‘The Mausoleum of the Giants’ suggests that this is their final resting place. Does that mean that this is the end for these sweet, solemn-looking creatures? I sincerely hope not but if so, I can’t wait to find out what his next project will be!

Think The Queue Is Not For You?

There is no way to sugar coat the fact that the queue is massively long to get in. If you’re not a fan of queueing, I would strongly advise taking something to keep you entertained. Particularly if you’re taking kids along. Once you get inside the building, there are a couple of food and drinks vans. The pizza I must add is absolutely to die for! The heat the wood-fired oven kicks out is also extremely welcoming after spending so long queuing in the cold.

Are you a fan of street art? Do you have a favourite street artist? Or have you seen any of Phlegm’s work anywhere on your travels? If so, please leave your comments below. I would love to know where the Giants live so I can go and visit them all!

This article first appeared on whatrachdidnext.co.uk. If you enjoyed reading it or find it useful, I would love it if you would link to it or share it on social media but please don’t copy my work. All pictures are taken by me and all words and opinions are my own, unless otherwise stated.

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