Sheffield artist Pete McKee admits he was blown away by the response to his latest exhibition after over 8,000 people flocked to the Magna Centre last weekend.
McKee’s two-day exhibition, titled 6 Weeks to Eternity, was a homage to school holidays of days gone by and featured a replica of his childhood house, a series of arcade games and even a full-size helter skelter which squeezed, just, under the Magna roof.
McKee - whose last exhibition, Joy of Sheff, attracted around 3,000 people - created 30 original paintings for the exhibition, and fans sent in over 500 of their own snapshots and memories of bygone holidays which were featured in the show - alongside a replica of McKee’s childhood bedroom and a display of childhood scabs (also replicas, he assures), complete with descriptions of the type of childhood accident which produced them.
“I wanted a show that would bring the joy out in people,” McKee said.
“I wanted a show where people could reminisce about days gone by when we were younger and, more importantly, I wanted people to have a great time.
“But the response has completely blown me away.”
McKee, who grew up in Batemoor, began painting full-time in 2004 and has drawn a weekly cartoon for the Sheffield Telegraph since the early 1990s.
Visitor Daniel Platts, aged 26, said: “I loved it.
“There’s just something unmistakably Sheffield about Pete’s work, and that’s the beauty of it. He’s obviously a very talented artist, but he just ‘gets’ Sheffielders, too, because he’s one of us.
“Everyone can see a bit of themselves in most of these paintings, and it was nice to go back to my own childhood for an afternoon and remember how things used to be.”
There’s just something unmistakably Sheffield about Pete’s work, and that’s the beauty of it. He’s obviously a very talented artist, but he just ‘gets’ Sheffielders, too, because he’s one of us.McKee fan Daniel Platts, aged 26