By JennyOwen

New Era Square

The weather's been good today, and I spent some time this morning on the edges of the city centre, taking some pictures of bright autumn trees against various buildings, chasing the light. 
Then, at the end, I remembered to go and check out New Era Square - a mixed development of offices, shops and student flats that has been funded by a large Chinese investor. Sheffield has attracted a lot of Chinese students, in recent years, and a lot of Chinese investment. Needless to say, much of that scenario now looks quite uncertain, and the implications for the city's labour market, its two universities and much else are a big concern.
This new development was completed not long ago and I knew there was a recently-installed sculpture, the first of two that have been planned. Although my voluntary photography activity with ArtUK is on pause at the moment, while they wait for more funding, it still seemed worth taking a look for future reference.
I found a very graceful bench, main image. The sculpture is another matter, see the first Extra.  It's a real oddity, both in relation to its location and to its style and general look.  It looks immune to any weathering, so I don't imagine it will blend in with its surroundings any time soon.
On my way back, I watched a cluster of East Asian students queuing for taxis by the university, looking as if they were on their way home. Some were in bright white full-body protective suits. Another of those sights we could not have imagined a year ago. See second Extra.

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