Pete Bennett, Blackpool-born artist, musician and writer who has been living and working in Hackney in London for many years.

He paints, composes music, is a Venue and Engagement Manager at Grow Hackney – an experiment in ethical and sustainable business that is a live music and performance venue, bar, kitchen and community hub on the canalside in Hackney Wick.

Pete is also involved in lots of social enterprises and co-founded Inner World Arts, an organisation that runs projects with adults and young people focusing on mental health. Another fantastic initiative that Pete runs is as a climbing instructor and founded Climbing For Wellbeing, that teaches indoor bouldering to help young people manage their mental health problems alongside improving physical health.

And if you found none of that impressive, he also toured as lead guitarist for the Blackpool post-punk band, The Membranes.

Pete came up to Manchester living with his partner in the Northern Quarter since the beginning of the pandemic. When roaming the streets of Manchester, Pete began drawing and illustrating homeless people and architecture in the city.

We met up and chatted with Pete about life in lockdown, his art and what projects he’s been up to during the past year…

“When lockdown arrived a year ago I relocated to the Northern Quarter in Manchester to my girlfriend’s apartment, an area I have affinity with as my ancestors ran a tailors shop in Oldham street for two generations (the building is still there, it’s now Fress restaurant) and have mostly been here since.

 I made around 200-300 drawings in coloured pencil, and ink, in the first lockdown many of which are of the homeless people. Running alongside this are a series of ‘Doomsday Manuals’ – dark humoured ink drawings that reflect current affairs and contemporary life. 

I also began taking digital photos and making digital photo montages mostly of the new builds around the city and composing one minute string orchestra pieces to accompany them. I have continued to draw and paint small pictures in watercolour of these and other themes for the year.”

Pete is taking part in a programme titled “Grow At Home” that talks to artists online. 

His fee goes to Manchester initiative Mad Dogs Homeless Project who provide and deliver hot meals to and generally look after street dwellers. 

“As part of our ongoing Grow At Home programme of online talks with artists, we welcome artist and musician Pete Bennett for a talk and interactive Q&A afterwards.”


Watch the talk \/

Supported by Arts Council England Cultural Recovery Fund

Lockdown Music:



The Dublo vs Popek ––X8