Sheffield: Local Art: Part I

I’m a bit of an aficionado of Sheffield. I came here for University 14 years and I’m still here now. Most of my friends from University have hung about and lots of my work colleagues completed their degrees here; I think it’s kind of city.

One of the things I love about Sheffield is that although it’s a big city, one of the eighth largest, it’s got a very, kind of village-y feel, usually on a night out I see at least a couple of people I know whether that be from work, friends of friends or people I used to know ( that sounds ominous doesn’t it?) and that might just be because of the things that I’m interested in then naturally the people I like gravitate to those places too. Sheffield kind of makes me feel safe. Well, that was until I discovered urbex. Now I say discovered but I mean I came across 28DaysLater, I’m too much of a scaredy cat to actually participate for real. But there’s something about these derelict places that are so compelling to me. I follow a few of these intrepid explorers on instagram and their photos always entice me to click that heart-shaped button. I began to notice a common theme through the majority of the photos was graffiti and pretty good ( vast understatement) graffiti at that. There’s the awe inspiring, photo-realistic work of Rocket01; take at look at Darwin and everyone’s favourite dream-uncle David Attenborough , the nature influenced work of his partner Faunographic – whose work I first came across in Manchester and then there’s Colorati – whose work seems to span a whole range of influences, cartoon-like images of worms and pigeons to photo-realistic tough guys and these are to name but a few. However, the artist I keep coming back to is Phlegm. Now, I’ve seen Phlegm’s work in various places over Sheffield; The Rutland Arms, The Riverside but in truth I always thought that they were a bit too weird for me, that yeah, they were good but left me a bit cold. That was until I saw some of his pieces in these derelict, left-to-decay places and they just fit. This series of ‘Falling Men’ painted on various floors in abandoned tower are some of my favourites:

Phlegm2 Phelgm4 Phelgm3 Phlegm1

All pics courtesy of Street Art News

And I can’t describe how they make me feel, they make me feel a bit uneasy, they’re unworldly but I cannot stop looking at them. It’s that feeling of compulsion. I can honestly say that I’ve never felt like this before about any other piece of art. Does that make it a success, although I kind of think that they’re a bit creepy, I’m drawn to them. Are you?
Just googling Phlegm quickly makes me realise that unfortunately he’s not just a Sheffield artist, he’s painted as far away as Sri Lanka and you can catch some of his work down in that London. I’d love to say that this discovery has made me want to be a little bit braver and try and seek out some of the more hidden gems myself; but what can I say, there’s more of the cowardly lion in me so in this case, I’m happy to live vicariously through others!



3 thoughts on “Sheffield: Local Art: Part I

  1. Little bits of Sheffield

    Hi, I live in Sheffield and have two photo-blogs. I have a lot of Sheffield street art and artwork from inside derelict buildings. Both of my blogs have search bars so you can put in Phlegm or Rocket or coLor etc to see the various pics I have posted. The Rocket photographs linked from your post were both taken by me (Darwin and David Attenborough). I passed them to Rocket for him to use. You are right to be cautious when thinking of urbex and I would certainly advise only ever going in with someone and never alone. Safety when urbexing should always come first. Everything from being aware of your environment and potential hazards to having sturdy footwear! I know a lot of the people who publish stuff on instagram (although I don’t put photos there myself) and they are a friendly welcoming bunch. I know they have organised instagram meet ups in Sheffield to tour the street art. It could be a good way for you to get to know some of them without committing to heading off into derelict buildings. My blogs are: Little Bits of Sheffield and Postcard Cafe and the links are: and Other wordpress street art blogs in Sheffield that I subscribe to are Fiona Ferret Graffiti – The Writing On The Wall – Here at and Painting The Town – Here at I know Dave and Fiona that run these blogs. Sheffield has a thriving community of artists and graffiti writers with an equally thriving bunch of photographers and urbexers who follow their work. Phlegm is based in Sheffield and we are very lucky to have so much of his work around the city and I am a big fan. I really like a lot of work that coLor has done particularly over the last year. He is incredibly inventive and resourceful. Hope you enjoy the links to the blogs. Best wishes and keep safe, PC

    1. naifmelodie Post author

      Hey! Thanks for getting in touch! I’ve come across Postcard cafe before, so will bookmark that and your other blog. I’ve seen the instameets, am definitely tempted to go along.


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