Mystery ‘Robin Hood’ gives away hundreds of pounds on the streets of Sheffield
A Steel City version of legendary street artist Banksy based on the city’s long-standing association with Robin Hood has given an exclusive interview to The Star.
A Sheffield man calling himself Robin Loxley - a reference to the city’s claim to be the birthplace of the legendary outlaw - has been creating a buzz online by hiding £20 notes in plain sight, just waiting to be picked up by members of the public.
He estimates he has already given £500 away this way, and has another £1,000 in gold coins and ingots that he will be giving to deserving people in the near future.
In his latest stunt, Robin broke into an empty city centre shop to leave a giant painting in the window emblazoned with the slogan ‘another blank canvas’ to draw attention to what he says is the decline of the city’s high street shops which are struggling to compete with internet giants.
Robin contacted The Star on Monday to give his first interview, revealing the reasons behind his campaign and his plans for the future.
He said: “People will interpret it in different ways - that is the beauty of art.
“Some might say I am trying to start a buzz, others might say I am just being generous.
“If people are inspired to be more generous by what I have been doing then that is a good thing.
“One person I gave money to gave some of it to a homeless person so two people benefited.
“My slogan is ‘Robin Loxley is coming’ and people can expect a lot more.”
Robin said that while he does consider himself an artist, he has never exhibited anywhere prior to this campaign and none of his work is available anywhere else.
He revealed he has three more events planned for later this month, and will also be branching out into other cities in the near future.
The shop Robin broke into was an empty store on Barker’s Pool which was last used when Arctic Monkeys last album was released - but he insisted he had not committed any offence.
He said: “No law has been broken. I trespassed on the premises which is a civil matter. I have not stolen anything or taken anything. No criminal offence has taken place.”
Mythical outlaw Robin Hood - while more often associated with Nottinghamshire and Sherwood Forest - is reputed to have been born in the Sheffield area village of Loxley.
A campaign has been underway to bring Robin’s story back to the place of his birth, with a festival, a mobile phone app and plans for plaques at places associated with him.
Sheffield Hallam University lecturer Dr David Clarke, co-founder of the university’s Centre for Contemporary Legend, said earlier this year it was time to ‘bring Robin back home’.
Robin Loxley posts all his stunts on the Instagram social media platform and can be found at www.instagram.com/outlaw_robinloxley.
He also has a website at www.robinloxley.co.uk.