This Class Works shows the pride and resourcefulness of Britain’s working class, its work ethic and its sense of community, and sets out to share that spirit with today’s aspirational younger generation.
14-29 July 2018, 92 Burton Road, Sheffield. www.thisclassworks.com
Sheffield based artist, Pete McKee, has today revealed the details of a new exhibition for 2018, two years since his last show.
This Class Works is an exploration and celebration of the working class. Different to anything he has done before, the exhibition is a collaboration between Pete and fellow artists, film makers and photographers who share an affinity for the UK’s working class.
The exhibition runs from 14-29 July 2018 at 92 Burton Road, a huge warehouse space in Pete’s hometown of Sheffield.
Pete said: “It’s been two years since my last show ‘6 weeks to Eternity’ at Magna which was an incredible experience for me and all who were involved and attended.
“In these two years, I have been through a lot personally. This will be my first body of work since my transplant so it will be interesting to see if it has had a defining effect on my thought process, this show will definitely be more pointed than my past exhibitions, though I’ll still be having my tongue planted firmly in my cheek in places. I’m very passionate about my roots and a hate seeing what is happening to my class in this current political climate.
“I am delighted to be working with a range of other very talented, creative people in order to present this new exhibition which aims to re-address the unbalance that currently exists in media and society. Unbalance that seems to deride and tar the working class as lazy, selfish, needy, ignorant, intolerant, worthless and the cause of all societies problems.
“It’s important for me to show the spirit of the working class; the pride, hope, fight, passion and resourcefulness that has been their foundation. I grew up on a council estate the youngest of four. My dad was a steel worker and my mum a factory line worker and 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 with fondness of how we seemed to survive on tenacity and an unfailing hope that better was around the corner. I want the exhibition to highlight the nobleness and dignity of the working class, then and now and for those who visit this exhibition to leave exhilarated and enlightened to its beauty.”
The exhibition which immediately suggests nostalgia but puts a modern perspective on its themes, connects a younger generation to a conversation about the values and value of the working class, explores many areas of working class life: the journey to and from work; the clothes at work and home; the effects of industrial accidents on family life; how poverty shapes children’s perceptions of the world; social interaction and solidarity in the community; love and family; and how to cope with having nothing when you work all the time all feature. It also celebrates the working class’s resourcefulness and explores prejudice from other classes as well as exploring what the working class is in today’s society when the younger generation is perhaps more aspirational.
Pete started work as a cartoonist before taking up painting As a kid he would copy the Andy Capp cartoons from the back of the Daily Mirror after his dad had finished with the paper, enjoying that the cartoon style can communicate a lot with just a few simple lines. Over the years other influences like the colours Hergé used, the strong black line work of Patrick Caulfield and the loneliness of Edward Hopper have helped shaped Pete’s work.
Pete has been commissioned by Oasis, Paul Smith, the Arctic Monkeys, Disney, Warp Films and Richard Hawley among others. He is an ambassador for the Teenage Cancer Trust and a patron of Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital. Last year he raised £46,686 for Teenage Cancer Trust with the sales of his limited edition screen prints inspired by The Who, Paul Weller, Pet Shop Boys and Ed Sheeran, to commemorate the charity’s 100th show at the Royal Albert Hall.
This Class Works runs for 16 days only and visitors will need to buy a ticket and book a time slot to visit the exhibition. Tickets, costing £5 each including an exhibition programme, go on sale on Friday 23 February at 10am. Under 12s are free and there is limited availability for school trips.
Tickets, which are for a two hour time slot, can be purchased online at www.thisclassworks.com
For any general enquiries regarding the exhibition please contact email@example.com or call 0114 263 1000.