Charity sale's pub pictures have a personal meaning for Sheffield artist Kid Acne

Happy Hour, by Kid Acne, depicts local pubs
Happy Hour, by Kid Acne, depicts local pubs

The pubs of Sheffield have struck a chord with a city illustrator, street artist and musician who is selling new works to raise money for people recovering from drink problems.

Kid Acne has painted large-scale murals and held exhibitions across the globe, from Los Angeles to Beijing, and his work is a familiar sight on walls and buildings around Sheffield.

Kid Acne at work on a mural in Barcelona

Kid Acne at work on a mural in Barcelona

The artist - real name Ed Bradbury - has been creating an ongoing series around well-known local pubs, and is donating the proceeds from a special print run called Happy Hour to support the Sheffield Alcohol Support Service's recovery community.

The charity's mission has a personal resonance. His father Ian, a retired teacher, died three years ago aged 64 from liver disease after decades of heavy drinking, and Kid Acne recently became a patron of SASS.

He began illustrating Sheffield pubs in 2016, though the initial idea dates back further, following on from a 'Sheffield Cityscape' he sketched in 2005.

"I’ve drawn over 100 pubs and am now making compositions of these for a series of hand-made prints," he said.

The new piece features The Ship Inn at Shalesmoor, The Fat Cat at Kelham Island and the Gardener's Rest, Neepsend, plus many more.

"I was partly inspired by the 'Sheffield Heritage Pub Crawl' poster I used to see about and wanted to create a version of my own. My dad and I used to study these posters and make a note of how many we'd been to - which seemed to be the vast majority, by all accounts."

Kid Acne said he has 'always liked the architecture and atmosphere of old pubs'.

"A good pub is a real asset to the community, bringing people together for a drink and chat, do the pub quiz, play pool, watch the match or have Sunday dinner with the family. They can also provide invaluable spaces for artists to exhibit work, musicians to perform live, and DJs to play records to get the whole room dancing."

He said his dad was a 'brilliant man and a creative soul, despite his flaws'. "He taught me a lot about photography, art, design and we even learned to screen print together when I was a teenager. Sadly, he also suffered with a number of mental health issues. These were only further exacerbated by his alcohol intake and meant we were never really able to get to the root of the problem."

Happy Hour will raise around £2,000. It is his first collaborative project with SASS, and he wants to work on more. "I'm hopeful that through these drawings and prints I might be able to help support individuals and families as well as raise awareness about alcohol issues."

The money will be used to refurbish the ARC community room. The service on Abbeydale Road provides a space where people can gather until they are 'strong enough to venture out more widely', said Lynn Dawson, SASS's director of development.

"We support around 2,000 people a year and find public houses can be no-go areas to someone recovering from a drink problem."

Kid Acne, who occasionally releases hip-hop records, was honoured with a retrospective, Kill Your Darlings, at the Millennium Gallery in 2011 that attracted more than 50,000 visitors. He was born in Malawi, lived in the East Midlands and moved to Sheffield more than 20 years ago to study fine art at Psalter Lane college.

Thirty hand-pulled screen prints - signed, numbered and embossed by the artist - will go on sale on Monday at midday. Visit http://kidacne.bigcartel.com/product/happy-hour-limited-edition-screen-print to buy. To contact SASS call 0114 258 7553.