'˜Let the neon sign guide you to curry wonderland' - Nick Bax reveals his favourite things about Sheffield
After growing-up in Huddersfield and Rotherham, studying in Essex and working in London, Nick Bax finally settled in Sheffield and has lived and worked here for the past 25 years as a graphic designer and creative director. He has designed for artists such as Pulp, Supergrass and Aphex Twin and videogames including WipeOut and Grand Theft Auto at the internationally renowned Designers Republic, and launched Humanstudio in 2007.
Based in Sheffield, Human is a creative agency with global credentials in design, digital and moving image. The team have also been involved in virtual and augmented reality projects, including the Virtual Hole in the Road and the recent recreation of Sheffield Castle. Nick lives in Hillsborough with wife Amey and their children.
The largest listed building in Europe, the iconic brutalist block on the hill. It’s not for everyone , but the more time you spend there you realise what a unique and well-designed place it is. My design studio Human were the first company to move there in 2013 and since then we’ve been joined by some great creative neighbours such as Warp Films. The new S1 Artspace gallery recently opened together with the awesome South Street Kitchen – we waited five years for a cafe but it’s worth it!
Park Hill has seen some tough times in the past and we’ve had to be patient but there’s a lot happening now, it’s very excitin.
We’ve always lived close to the park - it used to be the place where we took our children for fun in the playground, but now it’s where Amey and I walk with the dogs or run around to stay fit. I started doing the Parkrun there in 2013 – it’s a great way to kick-off your weekend, with 250 plus runners of all ages, sizes and abilities.
We went to Tramlines this summer and thought it was fantastic. Hillsborough Park is a wonderful new home for the festival. It reminded me of visiting the Sheffield Show there in 1984 and seeing the Bruce Foxton Band. The park is also directly opposite my sporting ‘place of worship’ where I attend mass with 20,000 others on a regular basis.
Let the neon sign guide you down the magic steps into a curry wonderland...Our first studio was in Kelham Island, we used to visit this place every week and I’ve been going back there ever since. The staff are always welcoming and the food is ‘Taste Factor 10’.
They had a big refit last year and got rid of the legendary ‘Club Tropicana’ wicker furniture at the bar but it still has a historic feel. Spicy fact: Warp Records artists Autechre lived above the restaurant in Mayfair Court when they first moved to Sheffield and were working on their debut album ‘Incunabula’.
This exotic European delight mysteriously appears outside John Lewis in Barker’s Pool every two years during September, just in time for the University of Sheffield’s Festival of the Mind. You can wander in there for free, grab a coffee and watch lots of interesting talks and discussions during the day. In the evening it transforms into a cool venue for all sorts of performances and live events.
OLD PUBS and NEW BARS
There’s nothing better than good company and a few choice brews in the Bath Hotel, The Grapes, Fagans or The Wellington at Shalesmoor. When friends visit from London and see our old pubs and how good (and cheap) the beer is, they literally weep. For more recently opened places, Public - the tiny bar in the former public toilets at the side of the Town Hall - is something very special for Sheffield.
GRAVES ART GALLERY
The Graves was the first gallery I visited as a 16 year old art student. We trudged all the way to the top of the Central Library and, when we walked into the hidden gem at the top, it absolutely blew me away. In recent years it has suffered from a lack of funding and budget cuts, which have sadly taken their toll on the condition of the building. Despite this, it still hosts an impressive permanent collection and a rotating programme of inspiring exhibitions. Whatever happens to the Central Library, I hope there will always be an art gallery there. People need art.