A city artist has drawn a poster detailing what he loves about Sheffield ahead of opening a new shop here. Colin Drury met him...
It starts with Arctic Monkeys, ends with the Chinese eatery Zing Vaa and, in between, references everything from Bassett’s to Forgemasters, Tramlines to Roxy Disco, and even has a mention for this very newspaper.
Welcome to one man’s A-Z of Sheffield.
City artist and Diary favourite Matt Cockayne - who works under the name Goo Design - has produced this stunning poster detailing 26 aspects of why he adores the place he calls home.
Included are the well-loved (J is for Jarvis), the well-known (G is for greenest city in Europe), the well-trodden (K is for Kelham Island) and the, well, obscure. X is for the X57 bus.
Here are sporting references (Wednesday, United and the Steelers get mentioned), cultural landmarks like The Crucible, nods to history (there’s a spot for Vulcan) and places to get a pint.
And it’s all been done to celebrate a new venture in Matt’s life.
The one-time graphic artist, who has found success painting famous Sheffield scenes and stars ever since The Diary drew attention to his work last year, is set to open his very first shop thisautumn.
The 30-year-old father-of-one will open his own Goo Design shop in Abbeydale Road in September. The store - in what is currently Timewarp Collectables - will be shared with Frankly My Deer, a handmade craft shop run by Carla Gabbitas which is currently based in the Vintedge emporium further along the same road.
“It’s really exciting,” says Matt, who grew up in Mosborough but now lives in, um, Chesterfield. “If you look back a year I was doing these Sheffield scenes in between holding down a full-time job. Now I’ve gone out on my own, built a studio in my basement and am opening my own shop and gallery - I’d definitely have taken that 12 months ago.
“I’m not sure why people like the pictures so much. I’m a Sheffield lad and I’ve just managed to strike a chord. That’s what this poster is about really. It’s just me saying what I love about the place.”
His previous work has included a series showing what might happen if Star Wars was set in S1; another celebrating the city’s working class heroes; and a third featuring a pair of pigeons called Brian and Bruce sat on famous landmarks.
“Where did the poster idea come from?” he ponders. “I’ve wanted to do it for a while but I felt I should hang fire until there was a specific reason.
“I asked a few people what they thought should be on it and got loads of feedback. X was obviously the most difficult. At one point I was thinking maybe X could be for Parson Cross or Banner Cross but that seemed like cheating somehow.
“And this is Sheffield. It’s a city built on public transport. I wanted a bus or tram on there somehow.”
Now, he’s thinking about doing a second poster (“if I can think of another Z ”) and potentially a book. That’s once he’s opened the shop of course. He’s busier than he ever dared dream he would be.
* See Matt’s work at goo-design.myshopify.com