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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Steven Allen

Our Favourite Places would be nothing without our contributors — a massive thanks to all of them!

Tell us about you...
My name is Steve Allen, I am an art writer and critic and I lead the written practice That Looks Queer. I seek to uplift the works of LGBTQ+ people with a particular focus on practitioners in the north of England. I am a regional contributor for Corridor8, I volunteer at Site Gallery and have worked with Sheffield Museums on a number of projects.

What does Sheffield mean to you?
Sheffield is a diverse intersectional melting pot of creativity, but it sometimes hides its light under a bushel. That mystery and need to look in unconventional places to find the great stuff Sheffield has to offer is what I love about it. It can be detrimental in terms of funding and accessibility however. We don’t want to be another northern city, we’re gritty and subversive and dark. Where most cities are shaped to lead you into the places you want to be Sheffield makes you work for it.

What’s your favourite Sheffield place?
Being from Rotherham (I know... booo!) I have to say that picking one place to call my favourite is difficult. I love Park Hill for all its mad architectural whimsy. I love the fact it’s a hop skip ands a jump to the peaks, but if you have to push me I adore the Moore Street substation. Brutalist architecture is a love of mine.

What would you do to improve the city?
Sheffield has oft been described as a city of towns, discreet neighbourhoods that remain within their own quite closed off communities. One thing that can combat this effect without causing a homogenisation of the Sheffield experience is better public transport. Buses and improvements to cycle and walking routes would improve cohesion and bring people into the city.

Latest contributions

Not Without My Ghosts: The Artist As Medium

Thu. 31 March 2022 — Sun. 26 June 2022

Millennium Gallery

An exhibition of art inspired by the rituals and practices of mediums and spiritualism. Featuring messages from the beyond and artists seeking to escape their sphere of consciousness. Read our review by Steven Allen.

Platform 21

Fri. 21 January 2022 — Sun. 20 February 2022

Site Gallery
, Yorkshire Artspace Persistence Works, 
Bloc Projects

An exhibition over three galleries, giving space to five Sheffield artists to test new ideas. Read our review by Steven Allen on how Platform 21 allows for play and delight in the part-formed.

Rafaël Rozendaal – Permanent Distraction

Thu. 23 September 2021 — Thu. 23 December 2021

Site Gallery

"Abstract forms, shifting perspectives and geometric sprites." Read our writer Steven's review of this meditative exhibition, which aims to answer the question: how do we blend the physical and digital space?