Few artists have found a muse in Sheffield quite like Pete McKee. His upcoming exhibition, This Class Works, is McKee's personal take on working class life, bringing together work drawing on his own background in the city, alongside pieces by other artists that share perspectives of growing up in working class environments. And, quite fittingly, it'll be exhibited in a former spring factory at 92 Burton Rd.
Most of the work will be kept under wraps until the exhibition opens, but it promises to be a very varied show, featuring live sculpting, poetry, soundscapes, writing, photography, and a special selection of long-lost government propaganda. Artists include Anthony Bennett, JB Barrington, Jo Peel, Jon McClure, Martyn Ware, Maxine Peake, Natasha Bright, Sarah Jane Palmer and Tish Murtha. There'll also be a special project involving local designers and illustrators, including Cafeteria, Dust, Field, Human Studio, Jon Cannon, Kid Acne, Made North, Nick Deakin, and Peter and Paul.
In Pete's own words, the exhibition "aims to celebrate the spirit of the working class; the pride, tenacity, hope, fight, passion and resourcefulness which I witnessed growing up. I was raised on a council estate and was the youngest of four children. My dad was a steel worker and my mum a factory line worker. Everyone around us was as poor as we were, practically everything in our house was bought on the never never, half my clothes didn’t fit and the other half had been previously worn by someone else. I look back on those times fondly and remember how our persistence and unfailing hope that 'something better was around the corner' helped us to survive. This exhibition aims to highlight the strength, dignity and humility of the community in which I grew up in."
Tickets include a copy of the exhibition programme. Book yours now – time slots are quickly filling up!
After your visit, carry on your McKee trip with our street art pub crawl – featuring a stop at Fagan's, where there's a huge, much-loved McKee mural down the side.
Clubland - Pete McKee presents an evening of entertainment at Crookes Social Club
15 July, 6pm – now sold out
The Spirit of '45
17 July, 8pm, at Showroom Cinema – book now
Pete McKee introduces a screening of Ken Loach's documentary about a pivotal year in British history, when, following the war, the country experienced a period of unprecedented community spirit in the UK – the impact of which endured for many years and may yet be rediscovered today.
The Works Tour – A historical walking tour of Sheffield
28 July, 11am – now sold out
This Class Talks – An evening of conversation with the Lord Mayor Magid Magid and Pete McKee
28 July, 8pm – now sold out