VIDEO: Sheffield artist Pete McKee completes biggest ever mural

City artist Pete McKee says he is '˜dead chuffed' to finish his biggest ever painting '“ and to learn the umbrella was invented in Sheffield.

Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 2:51 pm
Updated Wednesday, 1st June 2016, 5:38 pm
31 May 2016.....Sheffield artist Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees

Pete painted the 46ft x 16ft mural at a new retail development, which has transformed the former Fox Valley steelworks, in Stocksbridge.

In the stunning work, painted 60ft high, Pete pays homage to all the former Fox Valley steelworkers – and to the umbrella which was invented there.

31 May 2016.....Sheffield artist Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees

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Pete said: “It’s important to remember our heritage and I wanted to pay tribute to all the people that worked in the steelworks. I wanted to make something that the workers’ families can look at today and be proud of too.”

While researching the project Pete learned that the paragon umbrella – still the most common frame design – was invented by an employee at the works and patented by owner Samuel Fox in the 1850s.

Pete said: “I had no idea that the umbrella design which everybody still uses was invented in Sheffield. We’re famous for a lot of things, bit I didn’t realise umbrellas was one.

“It’s funny really, I suppose it’s one of those lost Sheffield facts. So it was good to get that into the design.”

31 May 2016.....Sheffield artist Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees

To create the enormous piece, Pete drew a design on paper, measured a grid over it, and then scaled-up the design to the size of the wall.

To get the mural so high up, Pete used a cherry picker crane.

He said: “It’s just like the kids books to draw Pluto. You just try to copy each grid of the design like-for-like.

“Lucky for me I had the amazing Penistone street artist Chris Butcher, known as Rocket, to help out and we got it completed in just over a week.

31 May 2016.....Sheffield artists Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees

“I’m dead chuffed with how it’s turned out, really proud. It’s the biggest piece I’ve done by a long way.”

The new retail development, which homes even more of Pete’s work, opens on June 16. Visit www.petemckee.com and www.foxvalleysheffield.co.uk

31 May 2016.....Sheffield artist Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees
31 May 2016.....Sheffield artist Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees
31 May 2016.....Sheffield artists Pete McKee has finished work on a huge 14m x 5m piece of art on one of the new buildings at north Sheffields Fox Valley development. Picture Scott Merrylees