From leopard-skin dresses in Liverpool to queer liberal London, my identity is liminal and precarious. It is this ‘complexity of identity' alongside the misrepresentations and simplifications of working class people and culture by the media that forms the core of my artistic practice.
I have been exploring ways to actively challenge press distortions, adding conversations I’ve had with marginalised communities into newspapers and then returning them into circulation. These works have been commissioned in Plymouth and with The Baltic in Gateshead and included enacted performances, projecting the voices of the stories I’ve engaged with, painting these as new headlines onto newspapers, making new publications and displaying them in a space that indicated a newsagents.
Through maintaining a core of practical rules – listening, reflecting and reframing myself by interacting with communities who suffer and survive, rather than laying claim to their stories – I seek to overcome my ambivalence towards my present identity as an ‘artist’ and how it intersects with my own working-class roots. My ambition is to deepen my understanding of art’s social function and develop new methodologies to examine how art can be used by marginalised communities as a tool of empowerment, to help them better understand politics and the system that keeps them in their class location. This work will open up space for debate to happen, where critique is possible and naturally generated, and made up of different voices rather than ‘preaching by the converted’ dominating.
An artist & activist based in the Northwest and London (UK), I was awarded a scholarship to complete an MA in Visual Arts at Camberwell, University of the Arts London, in which I gained a distinction in 2015. The work takes a variety of forms from installations and performances to collective actions.