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The Sheffield culture guide written by in-the-know locals

Meet the Locals

Our interviews with some of the creative folk who happily call Sheffield home. Get to know local artists, musicians, makers, designers, poets, brewers, and more.

Our Guides

Meet the Locals: Yorkshire Artspace

Get to know some of the community of artists and makers who are based at Yorkshire Artspace's two sites, and who are continuing Sheffield’s proud tradition of making.

Otis Mensah

Sheffield's first poet laureate. A radical performer with a clear vision of poetry and rap as a means of communicating emotion.

ArtWorks

A collective of artists with learning disabilities.

Yuen Fong Ling

An artist whose work uncovers hidden histories and connect past figures with autobiography – currently exploring the Sheffield legacy of writer, poet, activist and socialist Edward Carpenter (1844-1929).

Sharna Jackson

Site Gallery's brand new Artistic Director introduces herself, tells us about Site's exciting 40th birthday plans, and shares her love of barges.

Eelyn Lee

An artist and filmmaker, exploring race, identity and ‘othering’, and challenging commonly accepted narratives of past, present and future.

Maja Mihajlovic

An artist whose work is both politicised and playful, drawing on a sense of not quite belonging to create something multi-layered, sensory and often collaborative.

Yusuf Yellow

A lyricist reflecting on authenticity, masculinity, existential angst and the power of creativity, especially as expressed through rap.

Siân Williams

An artist based at Bloc, whose practice references the feminine and sees seeming irreverence jostle with political poignance.

One World Choir

A group of refugees and asylum seekers, as well as other local people, who come together over songs of love, solidarity and belonging.

Paul Evans

A background in philosophy and archeology and a love of climbing inform Paul's art practice.

Hassun El Zafar

A theatre director driven by a desire to create social change, directing the first northern staging of My Name is Rachel Corrie.

Toni Buckby

Working with textiles, electronics and computer art, Toni is an artist who brings the traditional and the progressive into dialogue to create something entirely new.

Lucy Cheesman

A sound artist, musician, producer and organiser whose work often blurs the boundary between the visual, the audible and the digital.

Leafcutter John

An artist and instrument builder from the experimental fringes of electronic music. See him live at this year's AlgoMech festival.

Dami 'The Gannette' Okhiria

A slam poetry champion, medic and comedy connoisseur – observing different social phenomena, expressing them in writing, bringing them to life on stage or in front of the camera, and inviting reflection.

Chris Bush

The playwright behind the Park Hill-set musical Standing at the Sky’s Edge talks about tackling big ideas through theatre, and finding honest human stories that an audience can connect with.

Madeline Shann

Madeline Shann is a theatre maker, choreographer and writer whose work meets anxiety and absurdity with a mixture of laughter and fury. Get to know Madeline ahead of her new solo show, Here's Looking at UKIP.

Claire Lee

A sculptor working with wire, welding and weaving it into ethereal forms and bringing in light and sound to create immersive installations.

Kweku Sackey – K.O.G

A multi-instrumentalist and Afro-fusion pioneer, making positive connections and "linking Yorkshire to the rest of the world" as frontman for the eight-piece K.O.G and the Zongo Brigade.

Chloë Brown

An artist-filmmaker investigating the histories of post-industrial cities and amplifying voices that have traditionally been silenced.

CreativeMornings Sheffield

A monthly gathering over coffee, breakfast and creative ideas, taking place in cities around the world. Find out more about what makes CreativeMornings worth getting out of bed for, from the Sheffield chapter's Leanne Mallinshaw.

Society of Explorers

A curious, enthusiastic and creative collective of 14-to-19-year-olds, chatting, making and curating art from their Site Gallery base.

And Other Stories

An indie publishing house, boldly trying to transform the world of books.

Forced Entertainment

Sheffield’s Forced Entertainment were once the "enfants terribles" of the avant-garde theatre scene. Now, after 30 years, they’re the elder statesman of contemporary performance.

Kid Acne

If you've spent a decent amount of time in Sheffield, chances are you'll have come across, and come to love, the work of graffiti artist-musician-printmaker Kid Acne in one form or another.

Geo Law

A master doodler, Geo creates work with "plenty of colour, character and narrative to sink your eyes into".

Seiko Kinoshita

Working at her huge dobby loom, Seiko creates yarn sculptures inspired by nature that are full of calm and beauty.

Andro and Eve

Bringing people together over the joys of queer culture since 2016, through film, drag, music, and more.

Eclipse

Headed by creative director Dawn Walton, Eclipse is a company dedicated to bringing a more diverse audience into theatres and adding stories to the British canon.

Richard Hawley

No musician has as deep a connection to Sheffield as Richard Hawley. Here he talks about the "grim up north" myth and how Sheffield inspires his music.

Our Mel

A grassroots collective putting black artists, storytellers, filmmakers and talent front and centre through pop-up events and the annual Melanin Fest.

Mark Herbert

The joint CEO of Warp Films on the company's origins, This is England, and Sheffield's independent spirit.

Alex McLean

A pioneer of the algorave scene, creating music through live coding.

Leila Johnston

A polymath artist whose playful work tests and disrupts the ways that we understand art.

Victoria Claire Dawes

A ceramicist creating kitchenware inspired by, and made for, the people, history and character of Sheffield.

Lucy Vann

Lucy Vann is an artist preoccupied with small-scale weirdness and the surreally mundane. From her studio in S1 Artspace she works with video, sculpture, performance and installation.

Third Angel

Creators of forward-thinking, affecting and unforgettable theatre since 1995.

Penny Withers

A ceramicist based at Yorkshire Artspace, creating "vessels with heart".

John Hoyland

Introducing John Hoyland (1934-2011), the Sheffield-born abstract painter now championed by Damien Hirst.

TADO

Welcome to the wonderful world of TADO!

Field Cycles

Builders of dream bicycle frames, bespoke to each rider.

Line Cut Supply

Workwear for women, made in Sheffield by Aimee Harrison.

Rob Lee

A graphic artist whose large-scale geometric murals that invite interaction and inject a shot of vibrancy into the city.

Sarah Waterhouse

Peek inside fabric designer and screen printer Sarah's Yorkshire Artspace studio, shared with pugs Lola and Ethel.

Labrador

Limited edition and rather lovely objects for the home.

Archive Sheffield

A documentary photography collective that has taken on the role of storyteller for the people of Sheffield.

Sheffield breweries

Sheffield is as much a city of ale as it is a city of steel. Get to know its finest small, independent breweries.

Peter Martin

Peter Martin is an artist and S1 Artspace studio holder. As well as his own video-based art practice, he is involved in a number of projects in Sheffield – each connected by the desire to do good through creativity.

Delicious Clam

A record label and self-confessed labour of love, fuelling the fire of Sheffield's alternative music scene.

Chris Boland

Jeweller Chris constructs his bold and unusual rings from the most beautiful stones.

Jane Huws

Jane weaves charming bags by hand, capturing the spectrum of colour found in nature.

Handmade Cinema

A community cinema that transforms spaces into magical cinematic wonderlands.

Neil Woodall

A loveable and inky t-shirted aquatint pro, working in the most incredible studio we've ever stepped foot in.

Jennie Gill

Precious stones and metals glimmering in all directions – Jennie's jewellery workshop is a delight!

Barbara Wasiak

Curator Jose Snook on the life and work of the late Barbara Wasiak, a photographer known for capturing the Sheffield music scene in the 1980s and 90s.

Sarah Villeneau

An artist working with clay to capture organic textures and movements in abstract sculptures and vessels.

Thoughts Make Things

Playful creations to bring a smile to the dullest of days.

Anthony Bennett

The Showman Sculptor with a huge collection of cast figures lining his studio walls.

Henk Littlewood

At his Narnia-like studio, Henk turns tree trunks into magical sculptures and pieces of furniture.

Natalie Burton

An illustrator with a clear love for nature, whose pen-and-pencil world is full of trees, houses and landscapes all captured with charm and warmth.

Tom J Newell

One of the most distinctive illustrators in town, with a back catalogue of creepy creatures and writhing skulls.

Alison J Carr

A creator of photography, film and performance art exploring glamour and gilded architecture, and asking audiences to reflect on entertainment and the ways in which women display themselves.

Jo Peel

Capturing stories of cities in paint.

Nat Johnson

"A little bit country, a little bit folk, a little bit indie."

Donna Brewins

Donna finds inspiration in "big winter skies" for her giant canvases of dark landscapes.

Gemma Thorpe

Gemma focusses her lens on issues including migration, homelessness, identity and belonging – in each case telling you just enough of the story to make you keen as mustard to find out more.

SIA's Visual Communication students

We tasked a group of students to create imaginative maps of Sheffield. The results were funny, charming and surprising – read on for some highlights.

We Live Here

Jonathan Wilkinson's architectural illustrations are a celebration of our unconventionally beautiful city.

Girl Gang Sheffield

Support your local Girl Gang.

Sheffield coffee roasters

Get to know Sheffield's growing community of coffee roasters.

Finbarr Lucas

Makers of magnificent works of sculptural furniture.

Helen Mort

A poet with one foot in Sheffield and another in Derbyshire, who finds inspiration at the top of hills, in ghost stories, pubs, friendship, the aftertaste of whisky, the miners' strike, and in lost love.

Sheffield Creative Guild

A community of over 550 creative members, sharing inspiration, pooling ideas, and nurturing collaboration.

Andy Cropper

Bus stops, tram tracks, alleyways. Andy Cropper takes these ordinary, unremarkable, utilitarian places – the sorts of places we pass every day – and turns them into quietly, almost eerily beautiful oil paintings.

CADS

DIY arts charity and Sheffield's go-to guys for artists' studios and unique event spaces.

Jeremy Abrahams

With his Arrivals project, Jeremy took photos of one person who arrived in Sheffield from overseas for every year since 1945.

Tim Etchells

The writer, artist and artistic director has some amazing ideas on how to improve the city.

Frazer Hudson

The witty illustrator lets us in on his way of working, his inspirations, and his thoughts on the 'quite zen' city of Sheffield.

Peter Griffiths

For his recent screen printing project, The Plant Room, Peter spent the summer gathering inspiration in community gardens.

Roanna Wells

In her monochrome embroideries, Roanna substitutes people with stitches to create stunning, often dramatic, new perspectives on human gatherings. Crowds never looked so pleasing.

Eddy Dreadnought

An artist working across performance, writing, drawing, video, and photography, aiming to ask questions about the world in a sensory, open and poetic way.

David Mellor

The so-called Cutlery King, who also designed traffic lights, park benches and 1960s bus shelters.

James Green

A linocut printmaker with a love of donkeys, dinosaurs and views of Sheffield.

The Village Screen

A pop-up cinema bringing modern classic films to incredible locations.

From Works

An architecture and design duo, searching out both inspiration and material in the city and its neighbouring Peak District.

Ignite Imaginations

A charity dedicated to connecting, inspiring and enlivening Sheffield communities through creativity.

Nancy Kerr

Folk music A-lister, "fiddlesinger" and champion for social change.

Sheffield food producers

Glorious food, made in Sheffield.

Opus Independents

"A force for good in Sheffield." Opus has been giving platform to ideas for change in since 2008 – whether that's through Now Then magazine, Wordlife, or Festival of Debate.

Nick Deakin

Nick's playful and irreverent illustrations cheer us right up.

Boneloaf

An indie games studio founded by brothers Jon, Michael and James Brown, responsible for creating the hilariously silly Gang Beasts.

Andrew Hunt

An artist painting people caught in moments of tenderness and silence.

Ruby Robinson

A South Yorks poet, whose candid, vulnerable and vigilant work will leave you open-mouthed.

Mamnick

"Doing one thing at a time, as beautifully as possible" is this fashion and accessory designer's philosophy.

Stan Skinny

A treasure of the Sheffield arts scene, turning venues all over Sheffield into alternative cabaret nights with eccentricity, DIY props and sincerity.

David Fennell-Roberts

A painter and printmaker capturing the essence of the area around Long Island, an overlooked part of Sheffield at the core of this city's rich history.

Tommi Bryson

A theatremaker whose work centres on community, representation and comedy. Tommi co-hosts monthly variety performance night Sounds Queer, and is currently developing a one-woman musical about a trans Disney princess.