Kev Howard 

When Kev was first approached by Pink Collar Gallery to produce a new series of works for the “What does it mean to be working class?” we were living in a new world, one which was dictated by lockdown, social restrictions and a whole lot of uncertainty of what was going to happen next, what does the next chapter of pandemic look like? Kev thought of what stories he would like to tell, who’s voice is the least, the most hidden. For him it was a no brainer, as a disabled artist, Kev wanted to document working class disabled people. Being a part of a marginalised group within a marginalised group.

His thoughts turned to how he could document people’s daily lives, work, recreation and home situations, and explore how societal integration of people with disabilities has changed and there are still major issues in working class areas which need to be addressed for full inclusivity and access. Kev contacted people who he thought would be interested, all was looking good, then BOOM, 2021 started with a full national lockdown.

This basically destroyed the original project idea, he could no longer travel around the region to photograph people. Many of the people who wanted to be part of the project were now shielding.

Kev thoughts then turned to the people who he knows, who are artists, musicians, writers, promoters, workers in the arts institutions, and are local so that he could comply with the Covid 19 social restrictions. Asking selected working class creatives, “What does it mean to be working class?”

This simple question is not simple, it's complex in how it can be interpreted, on how it is answered. Some of the statements are about their chosen career paths after ignoring all the usual comments of, “That’s not a proper job, stop daydreaming, you can't do that because….” The thread that runs through all these stories so generously shared, is a determination to follow your heart, your dreams and do it your way.

Each photograph is attached with a statement, these are the voices of the working class creatives, voices which tell their stories in a way, which isn’t guided, isn’t edited, but is 100% real and spoken from experience and the heart.

Click on a selected photo to reveal each voice.