I am an art student, creative practitioner and a political voice? When so many of the arts are politically engaged, why are so few artists directly involved with politics? How can, and does, art shape politics? With this project I want to explore how art and artists can directly challenge the way our society is run; I’m not looking to explore how art can shape politics through aesthetics, or protest. This project is not looking for an outcome; it is looking to open up a dialogue.

Are you an Artist? Writer? Musician? Critic? Has the recession and past year of cultural, social and political unrest affected you or your practice? Or what you or your work now explores, engages, and deals with? The aim of this project is to challenge the notion that art and artists must passively engage with politics. Why aren’t we on the front line – Or more appropriately the front bench?

I feel passionately about this project as I am a part of the 99%.  – A young artist, a woman and a human being. It is so important that a strong and equal relationship is cultivated between those in power and those affected by the decisions made by the government, universities or the police force for example. Our generation must care about politics. We need to engage, challenge and construct a future for ourselves we feel comfortable and empowered in. We need to have a voice – A voice that does not necessarily have to shout, demonstrate and riot. There is a huge and justified frustration within my generation but we need to have a clear direction and ultimate goal that is driven by the youth of today.

On a personal level I am developing this project as I feel my engagement with politics is too basic; I want to challenge and refine my political and intellectual knowledge and become more involved with politics. And within my practice I want challenge myself conceptually and aesthetically – How do you convey a movement, a frustration, a collapsing society? I want to use my practice to push my creativity and political voice. I have always been interested in politics but am only starting to find my own point of view and position both as an artist and person. I also think it is important that this struggle is kept in the newspapers, minds and convocations of the public. The Occupy movement is brilliant as it has highlighted and raised awareness of the issues we face globally but there needs to be a considered and direct approach within the UK surrounding issues such as the enforcement of university fees, the dismantlement of the NHS and unemployment.

I am looking to work with and document people who feel they have something to express. If the ideas I have talked about engage your mind, values or political voice I would like to explore you ideas visually and also take your portrait.  I have already had some great responses to my photographic social documentary. Painters. Students. Photographers.  Friends. Business owners. Gallery workers…

This is an ongoing project and I would like it to reach as wider breadth of people as possible. I want to represent people from the 99%…

Where can art go next?

This is the way the artist’s world ends. This is the way the art world ends. This is the way the world ends. Not with a bang but a whimper.

If you would like to get involved please don’t hesitate to contact me on stellaheathkeir@aol.com or you can reach me by phone on 07733320110.


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