I work reflexively with materials and technologies to tell ‘hidden’ stories of cultural value and participation. This includes the use of narrative forms such as photography, video and word-image productions—as well as socially-engaged and co-created projects with communities.
Frequently working in and from places considered to be culturally disadvantaged, recent work has explored alternatives to the gentrification model, often involving collaboration with individuals who do not primarily self-identify as artists to highlight the creative practices that exist ‘below the radar’ of most mainstream arts institutions. One the primary aims of this work has been to counter narrow and limiting depictions of working-class culture—from Nationalist conceptions of ‘the folk’ to the vilification of Chavs and ‘Brexiteers’—in particular emphasising the creative contributions of women and LGBTQ individuals. In doing so, my practice also documents and provides a critical commentary on current directions in social and cultural policy.
That I possess a hybrid identity as both a researcher and an artist is not to say that I perceive a significant disconnect between these two roles. At their most elemental levels, both art and academia represent highly rigorous forms of knowledge production and dissemination, fundamentally concerned with the circumscription and transformation of human social life. I strive to remain both—and to make work which does not merely illustrate theory, but generates it too.