The Watery Adventures of Hungry Horace

I’ll start with a contradiction, all Hungry Horace pieces and installations are by water, except this one!

I’ve put the Horaces in an artist specific post instead of place because they are quite unique, they’re not in the usual graff spots and well, I think they’re just a little bit bonkers.

The range of materials used has at times been mind boggling.

I mean this has taken real time and effort to set up.

That’s dedication and self belief that is.

And attention to detail.

What does it mean? I have no idea…

Sadly most of the installations were dismantled quite rapidly, whether by vandals, well meaning trophy hunters or Mother Nature, I’ll never know. Many of the paintings have been ‘cleaned off’ which is so frustrating. I covered the Sheaf Valley Trail and most of the Porter Brook, places I had never been before, looking for Horaces,  they are hardly vandalism. I really wish the protectors of these local areas, who in general I really admire, would realise that features like this can add to an urban trail and actually draw the public in.

After all who can look at a Horace without smiling, even if they are scratching their head at the same time?

Sharp Central

This building has changed so much over the time I’ve been coming here, from the artwork on the walls to the fabric of the building itself, which is slowly but surely disintegrating. Certain parts are really quite dangerous and that coupled with the need to be vary aware of potential hazards underfoot, should make this a place to be avoided at all costs, and yet for some reason, for artists, photographers, urbexers and unfortunately drug users alike, it’s one of the most popular spots in the city and a personal favourite.

Of course the fact that Phlegm seems to have some sort of attachment to this place helps a lot.

Members of Nu were regular visitors too.

Clem Alice, she says with knowledge that wasn’t there when she took the picture, produced quite a few unusual pieces around spots in Sheffield, this was one of the first I saw.

If you have read my earliest blog post you’ll know this the first piece I posted a picture of,  sadly this was the last picture I took of it, before it was painted over. There has been some good stuff painted there since, but this was special.

I remember the whole ACAB thing when I was a kid, when we were some foolish enough to think that policemen didn’t know what it meant. It amused me to see it was still on the go and I love the pig.

I wouldn’t recommend climbing these stairs, there isn’t anything on the other side of the door anyway, as in no floor, just a long drop.

This is the last piece Phlegm has done here, so far…..

But I’ll keep checking,  just in case.

Robin Hood Country


Funny that when you start looking, urban art is everywhere, I wonder sometimes if I spent years walking around with blinkers on?

Notttingham has quite a graffiti scene with a few legal walls and a famous ballcourt at Russells Youth Club.


Above and below are walls near the train station, the camera I had at the time was totally incapable of capturing the wall in one shot, not that my camera was bad but it’s a long wall.



These 2 pieces were in the car park of The Horn in Hand pub. I don’t know who the artist is for the piece above but the one below is by Sune, whom I met this year in Blackpool.



I’d done my research before we went to Nottingham, I found the walls near the station and the pub quite easily, but my map reading skills are not what they could be and we ended up literally miles out of the way in our search for Russells. Luckily we found a helpful, graffiti loving librarian who got us back on track. As we approached I was really quite excited, I’d seen photos, watched videos  on You Tube, this was a big moment…….. however, what my research hadn’t told me, was that the building was occupied, one part is a recording studio with a lovely guy, called Neville, I think. The other side is an educational site for youngsters with difficulties. The courts at the back are strictly off limits while classes are on, we could come back later, but we had a train to catch, so I was reduced to taking pictures over a rather high fence.


Some fantastic artwork though, note to self, next time, do better research.


Wrong Side of the Tracks


Derelict buildings with rotting floors and collapsing roofs are one thing to get the adrenaline pumping but railway lines, that’s a whole new world of terror and certain death as far as I’m concerned. Although apparently, the image above turns most grown men into school boys all over again. The first time we went to this location I had a picture in my head of a newspaper headline ‘Couple killed by Intercity 125 in search of Graffiti’, imagine my relief when we got to the track to find this lovely little engine parked and a closed gate across the track.  Please be aware this is the only place I know of like this.


I have a very healthy fear of the tracks and that artists are able to go and paint in places like this amazes me. And there is some really good stuff there too.


Riseone does this little alien (?) character whom I love dearly and as such was one of the first artists whose work I could recognise.


I don’t know how that ended up there, he gets about that Phlegm doesn’t he?


Rast, he does some really colourful pieces, I particularly like this one.


Happy Halloween from Real Hate Crew! I think it’s great how many artists do seasonal pieces and productions and halloween is my favourite!


Trespassing on a railway is strictly illegal, punishable with a hefty fine or worse and having a graffiti obsession is not an acceptable defence.

Another Court Round-up

Before my OCD kicked in properly I just used to pop to the skatepark and the ballcourts every now and then. It only occurred to me gradually that I was missing so much, and I couldn’t  have that! At this point though, I was still pretty oblivious..

The spiky chap above is by CoLor Art, hindsight is a wonderful thing.

I was also unaware that there was a graffiti jam once a year at Mount Pleasant Park and by chance ended up there not long after one, there was some amazing stuff. I’m guessing, looking at them now, that the ones I don’t recognise are not Sheffield artists, but I could be wrong.

Like this piece above, I would love to know who did this.

This piece is  byBooms, I know that now, I really should have known it then.

Rast, Skint and ACAB, part of the Real Hate Crew, the bikes aren’t theirs by the way!

I spent a long time believing this was Kid Acne, only to be told, eventually, it was french (parisian even) female artist EMA.

This ballcourt  was not as popular as Mount Pleasant, although it is much more popular now as the street art community has grown in number, confidence and popularity.

This isn’t  a court shot it was in the town centre. Some purists don’t like stuff like this, but I love it. That someone had taken time to make this and  then gone and stuck it on a door in town for surely no other reason than to make people smile, I think that’s ace. I love the huge detailed fantastic pieces that symbolise what street art is all about, but there is always room for the simple things, isn’t there?

Water Water Everywhere, But Not Anymore…


I don’t drive which does sometimes make my hobby/ obsession difficult to say the least, but luckily my boys are now all grown up and can on occasion be begged or bribed to get me to the more inaccessible places. Bribery it was that finally got me here, a former water treatment site left to fall derelict due to a battle over planning permission. This is really bad for the building and the local community, but really good for local street artists, particularly during bad weather.


Rocket01 was able to use this place almost exclusively for quite some time until the popularity of his and other artists work made it a kind of graffiti tourist attraction, for photographers, and a potential painting spot for other writers and artists.


An early Phlegm piece before he’d consolidated the style of his characters.


Fauna Graphic has also painted here, though this piece was starting to deteriorate, so clearly wasn’t recent.


This collaboration between Rocket01 and Sebasura (I think) had obviously been there a while too. In more recent times no pieces have been left long enough to deteriorate naturally.


The skylights are what make this place so special for the artists because of the quality of light they provide although the glass is out of most of them now.

The general decay of the building can be seen as my journey continues.

A Window Closes, A Door Opens…


The awkward moment when you enter a buiding, adrenalin pumping and think you’ve arrived at a murder scene and the killer’s still there!


Lord Bunn before becoming a master calligrapher, used to do faces of dodgy looking men.


When partaking in urban exploration one should be aware of hazards such as this hole in the floor, through which can be seen a piece by Boms.


I make no apologies for posting this image again, as I said, it took me a year to find a way that I could get in this place. And I could still look at this all day long every day.


This collaboration with Boms Black and Meth is painted over a Phlegm piece that the artist wasn’t happy with, wish I’d got a picture of it first or at least got to see it.


This Phlegm and Rocket collaboration has to be one of the most famous pieces of graffiti in Sheffield and one of my (many) personal favourites.


I have no proof but firmly believe that this is where Phlegms cat/manatee was born.

This building, long since stripped of most of the signs of its industrial heritage is a huge and fascinating  explore none the less, and over time it’s walls start to tell an entirely different story.

Pigeon Coops in Spring

In my quest to see that bloke Phlegms work, I have ended up in some strange places. Staggering up a very steep bank trying to walk on partially buried milk bottles overgrown with brambles to get to an abandoned pigeon coop was fun, although  practically tumbling into the path of rush hour traffic on my way back down was funnier, wide eyed and covered in brambles, twigs and I dread to think what else, I gave a few motorists a fright.

The early part of the year, can be a bit slow on the graffiti front,  not a lot happening unless you know where to look and at this point I did not. Good time for having a wander and finding all the stuff you’ve missed.

This is by Rowdy and Gold Peg.

Hungry Horace is still a conundrum to me. I don’t know who or why, but he’s certainly brightened up the Sheaf Valley trail and Porter  Brook areas with his wacky productions, using car seats,  tiles, chests and carpet in his productions. Sadly a lot of the Horaces have been buffed now, but I guess it just means he will have to make more.

Bubba 2000, I love this but it was very short lived as the University has a zero tolerance policy to graffiti, even when it’s really good.

As I am currently incapacitated, it’s really quite frustrating to see the ground I was covering on a regular basis… at least it’s only 15 days and counting till the pot comes off!

Hero Worship or Stalker? you decide..

Initially I was driven by the need to discover all things Phlegm and that took me to various places as I tried to document his back catalogue.


This is an early piece. Another fascinating part of this process has been seeing artists, not just Phlegm, develop and grow as time has gone on.


Through stalking Phlegm I gradually became aware of more and more local talent such as Skint although at the time I took this photo it was just a word on a wall, there was and still is, so much to learn.


I still don’t know who did this.


Another building another early Phlegm piece. He made a comment once on his blog about drug addicts knowing where the best derelict places are.


Sadly he was right. I get very excited when I access a location that is new to me and it’s a real task to keep an eye on the floor for what horrors may be there, but the alternative doesn’t bear thinking about. This building was and still is one of the worst in the city.


This was the first piece I saw of Fauna Graphics’, I know now it was quite unusual as she doesn’t do many letters pieces.

Both of these locations have changed considerably over time as you will see.