Sheffield artist launches his latest book ‘Council Skies’

Artist Pete McKee has launched a new publication, and will be in his home town of Sheffield for a book signing event this summer .

Thursday, 16th May 2019, 2:25 pm
Updated Thursday, 16th May 2019, 3:25 pm
A new offering from Pete McKee

This book offers the most comprehensive overview of the artist’s work since he began painting in 2004.

Growing up on a council estate shaped the content of McKee’s work. He offers unique social commentary on working-class life, music and subcultures.

Council Skies features never before seen sketches and over 70 colour illustrations of the artist’s work .

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The title, Council Skies, has a biographical element to it, and is a nod to the artist’s process. McKee’s palette often includes colours given names that relate to his experience, such as ‘council sky blue’.

The book features a foreword by Mary O’Hara, journalist for The Guardian and author of Austerity Bites: A journey to the sharp end of cuts in the UK.

The introduction was written by Dr Sue McPherson, Principal Lecturer in the Department of Humanities at Sheffield Hallam University whose research is predominantly rooted in the relationships between class and culture.

Mr McKee, who received an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam university last year, said: “I’m really proud of this book because I fought long and hard to stand on my own two feet and declare I was an artist.

“Council Skies represents my childhood, love of music, fashion, the working class, family and life’s simple pleasures.

“I set myself strict parameters regarding my artistic process and the basic materials I use. I’m grateful I’ve been able to stick with these constants whilst developing my style over the years which I think the book demonstrates.”

Printed in Sheffield, this hardback book is priced at £25. It will available to purchase from June 15 at the McKee gallery in Sheffield. It can also be bought at

To celebrate the release of Council Skies Pete will host several signings around the UK in conjunction with his pop-gallery tour, and will be in Sheffield from 6pm to 8pm, on July 11, at Ambulo, 48 Arundel Gate, S1 2PP

Further details can be found on:

In 2011 Pete opened the McKee gallery in Sheffield. Since then he has put on several major exhibitions. For several years he has produced work for the Teenage Cancer Trust charity and is also a patron of the Sheffield Children’s Hospital charity, Artfelt.