New book reveal’s how Pete McKee’s history inspires his artwork

Sheffield artist Pete McKee has revealed details of his new book, Council Skies, which explores his 15-year career as an artist.

Monday, 20th May 2019, 1:34 pm
Updated Thursday, 23rd May 2019, 5:17 pm
Pete McKee's new book will be released on June 15

Pete will be in Sheffield on July 11 signing copies of the book, to coincide with his pop-up gallery tour.

Council Skies offers the most comprehensive overview of the artist’s work since he began painting in 2004, examining how growing up on a council estate shaped the content of his work - which offers unique social commentary on working-class life, music and subcultures. It features a number of never-before-seen sketches, along with 70 colour illustrations of the artist’s work to date.

Pete 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.

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“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.”

The title has a biographical element, referencing the artist’s working-class roots. Additionally, it is a nod to the artist’s process, as McKee’s palette often includes colours given names informed by his experience and perspective, exemplified by ‘council sky blue.’

The book features a foreword by award-winning journalist and author, Mary O’Hara, and introduction 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.

Pete will attend book signings in Brighton, Birmingham, and Nottingham, and will appear in Sheffield at Ambulo, on Arundel Gate, from 6pm to 8pm on Thursday July 11.

Council Skies goes on sale on June 15 at pop-up galleries and