Northern artist, Pete McKee has announced nine artists he has invited to join him in a new exhibition celebrating the working class. Hailing from Sheffield, McKee has invited fellow artists, musicians, actors, designers, photographers and poets to each share their own unique interpretations of being working class alongside his own work in the exhibition titled This Class Works.

Featured artists include live sculpting by Anthony Bennet, poetry inspired by Pete’s paintings (and vice versa) by JB Barrington, a visual history of Sheffield’s industry pubs by Jo Peeland soundscapes that reflect the atmosphere of industrial sites and other places of work by Martyn Ware. Northern treasure, Maxine Peake will also be presenting written accounts of what it means to be working class while photography exploring social clubs that still exist today will be showcased by Natasha Bright. Other highlights include ‘Unemployed Youth – An insight into a day in the life of a typical council estate’ by Tish Murtha and Sarah Jane Palmer’s secret hidden messages in everyday items and a special selection of long-lost government
propaganda.

Speaking ahead of the event, Pete McKee said: “I’ve always enjoyed working with other artists and for this exhibition I’ve taken that one step further by asking some incredible artists to produce their own work for this show. I originally came up with the concept last year. I wanted other artists to be a involved and ensure there was plenty of incredible work to be seen!”

Pete McKee was born in 1966. It was the year England won the World Cup, but also the year that his beloved Sheffield Wednesday lost the FA Cup. Perhaps it is this bittersweet beginning that has given rise to some of Pete’s most poignant work, images that can make you laugh out loud or break your heart. His dad Frank was a former steelworker who retired after an industrial accident and his mum Marjorie worked part time at a bakery. Growing up on a Sheffield council estate throughout the 1960s and 70s has become the inspiration for much of Pete’s work. His relationships, his childhood, his passion for music and his wonderful self-deprecating humour come together to create evocative images that have earned him a worldwide following.

All this work in addition to Pete’s new series of paintings will be on display at This Class Works, 92 Burton Road, Sheffield, S3 8BX, from 14th-29th of July. Tickets are available now and are priced at £5 per person; the ticket also includes a copy of the exhibition programme. Children under 12 can attend for free if accompanied by an adult.

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