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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

Before, During & After: Here Now (How To Keep The Balance)

Thu. 28 September 2023 — Sun. 18 February 2024

Site Gallery

“A place to confront fears of failure gently.” Read our review of Appau Jnr Boakye-Yiadom's installation. Centred on learning to play the drums, sharing wisdom and embracing the unknown.

Cissy Boy

Sat. 3 June 2023 — Sat. 1 July 2023

Exchange Place Studios, Exchange Street, S2 5TR

Fashion designer Mason Kane Thomas presents an exhibition inspired by contemporary queer culture and historical LGBT+ trailblazers like Oscar Wilde. Including a 'themwear' collection that challenges gender binaries. Read our review by Steven Allen.

Platform 22

Thu. 26 January 2023 — Sun. 26 February 2023

A three-venue exhibition, exploring shared legacies and the ways we shape connection. Featuring five emerging artists on residency in Sheffield: Adebola Oyekanmi, Kedisha Coakley, Rian Treanor, Theresa Bruno and Tyler Mellins. Read our review.


Fri. 23 September 2022 — Thu. 22 December 2022

Site Gallery

An exploration of our bodies and digestive systems. With work by Helen Chadwick, Eva Fabregas, Shana Moulton, Poppy Nash, Tai Shani, Laura Wilson, and more. Read our review of the exhibition and its connected performance art showcase, New Gestures.