It’s Not Bad Up North

Indeed it is not and here is a pictorial testimony to the fact.


In fact, things should be getting quite a lot better from my point of view. I have been accepted for voluntary redundancy which means that I will have far more time and energy to devote to diverse interests, including recording and writing about local graffiti and urban art.

Teaching has been a highly rewarding career, working alongside incredibly supportive colleagues and interacting with fantastic students over the years. However, I had reached a point where I had begun to resent the increasing emphasis placed on league tables, ’employability’ skills and ever growing mountains of tick-box administration, at the expense of debate, exploration and learning just for the joy of learning.

I didn’t feel that I had sufficient time and energy left over to perform my job effectively and provide the students with the education that they deserve. I do know that my younger colleagues have both the stamina and the commitment to be able to deal with this creeping top heavy management culture, whilst continuing to provide their students with an exhilarating, challenging and rewarding learning experience.

So, I’ve marked my last assignments and I’m clearing the desk, which gives me the opportunity to get out and about again and I can’t wait. I’ve already managed a couple of catch-up visits to local sites and I will be venturing further abroad over the coming weeks and months.

Here are a few recent finds. Firstly, a piece by Simon Kent. These faces have appeared across the city but this is the first time that I have seen them incorporated into a wider design.


This is a fantastic collaboration between coLor and Eugene Booms; amazing detail.25-06-15-3

If I have read it correctly, this emphatic piece is by Brayk.25-06-15-4

Here is a solo piece by coLor:25-06-15-5

This is one of D7606’s most recent paste ups, featuring Nancy Spungen and Sid Vicious. I wonder if we can expect other famous couples such as Johnny Cash and June Carter, Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, or even the ultimate celebrity couple, Miss Piggy and Kermit?25-06-15-6

Finally, if like me you wonder what happens to the money raised through increased student fees, perhaps this extract from a recent work email can shed some light on it (click on the image to expand it):

alternative shrubs and bushesI’m speechless. Here’s a great tune:

Roll Up, Roll Up

Here are two new paste up pieces that I spotted earlier today. The first is by Kid Acne (with an addition by D7606) and the second piece is by Ema.


Ema’s work is inspired by the content of the National Fairground Archive which is based at the University of Sheffield. Ema has contributed to a current exhibition entitled Marvelosa, which runs until early January next year and looks well worth a visit.

The Archive recently contributed to the Festival of the Mind exhibition and an image of the woman with the snake is visible in the ‘Show People’ banner in the slideshow below. More photos from the Festival of the Mind when I’ve got a minute.

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Speaking of snakes, here’s a classic tune by Al Wilson:


Where Were You?


An early Mekons track from John Peel‘s show, many years before they discovered country and Americana. It’s just over ten years since John Peel’s untimely death at the age of sixty five. Peel introduced me to an eclectic range of music, much of which I still listen to and enjoy today. By all accounts he was a thoroughly decent bloke and his death was a great loss to popular culture.

The Long Gallery

I recently paid another visit to one of my favourite locations. I have been visiting this site for several years now and it always reminds me of an art gallery, albeit a somewhat crumbling and dishevelled one. The space allows people to create work on a massive scale in a relatively quiet environment and it is still fairly protected from the elements.

Here are a few examples from my last visit:







White Van Man

This new piece by Phlegm was spotted earlier this week in Sheffield city centre. Apparently he will be painting the other side once the van’s owner has had the dent in the passenger side door repaired!

20141008_181510 This isn’t the first van that Phlegm has worked on. I would dearly love to see the one that he painted for the nice people at External Combustion which only seems to make the odd rare appearance at festivals and the like.


Off Topic # 8: Starman

Phew, after what feels like many months of madness things seem to be settling down into a more acceptable work / life balance.

I bought a copy of David Bowie’s Starman single a short while ago. t’s always been a favourite ever since I firsr heard it and it recalls happy memories of the school summer holidays of 1972.

david bowie - starmanI was lucky enough to be on holiday in Bournemouth towards the end of August and Bowie and the Spiders From Mars were playing at the Ballroom in Boscombe. This was my first ever concert (it cost exactly £1.00 which was quite a lot of my holiday money) and Bowie was touring in support of the Ziggy Stardust album. Needless to say it completely blew me away; I’d never heard of them or experienced anything like this before.

Later the same week we saw Genesis at a nightclub in the town performing Foxtrot (cost of entry only 50p!), with Peter Gabriel dressed up as a flower and Phil Collins safely tucked away behind his drum kit doing what he does best.

Normal service, graffiti and urban art pictures from around and about Sheffield will resume very shortly.