For illustrator Pete McKee, Sundays, especially during childhood, are always a mixed blessing.
He says, ‘Sundays in the 70s were the dullest day of the week. Everything was shut, there was no live football or large scale shopping arcades to visit, buses hardly ever ran and it was the one day in the week that there was a high chance that you would either have go and visit some relatives or other, or they would visit you.
‘Ironically Sundays were the one day that the working class could enjoy themselves and yet there was nothing to do. Especially if like me, your dad didn’t own a car.’
McKee’s latest exhibition, ‘A month of Sundays’, which explores his childhood Sundays in Sheffield, is set to open at York College on 8 November. As part of the exhibition, McKee will be running workshops with the students, who no doubt understand the spectre of homework hanging over a Sunday.
Helen Ventress, head of the art, design and craft division at York College feels sure that McKee’s style as well of content is sure to appeal to the students, as well as being useful.
She says, ‘At the college we impart to our students the importance of a narrative within an image, a story the audience can engage with. McKee’s work demonstrates this perfectly. With a seemingly simplistic style McKee’s work can convey great tenderness, humour or joy, sometimes all at once.’
And it’s not just art students that will be getting involved. Students taking English A-level will be using the exhibition as inspiration for a creative writing brief.
But it’s not going to be an entirely gloomy task. Despite the greyness and lack of things to do, Sundays hold a special place in McKee’s heart.
He says, ‘On rare occasions when the sun shone, and the days were long, and maybe you went to the seaside for the day, or just went to the working men’s club in the evening with your parents, Sundays could be the greatest day of the week.’
A Month of Sundays runs from 8 November-2 December at York College, Sim Balk Lane, York YO23 2BB.