Name: Sorrell Chrystal Kerrison (SorrellCK)
Location: Mossley Hill, Liverpool
1. What is your relationship to Merseyside?
I live in Mossley Hill. I used to visit from North Wales when I was a kid. I’ve lived all over but this is where we decided to put down our roots.
2. How does Merseyside impact or shape your practice?
It’s a creative and open city. It’s raw and friendly nature allows me to be myself. I feel like have been able to truly thrive here. People don’t see you as competition, they want to elevate you and support you. It’s a refreshing change.
3. What’s are the positives and negatives of living and working in Merseyside?
The positives are as mentioned above. I absolutely love the amount of green spaces and the Mersey itself. I love how you can be in the city centre, but there is always space to move or some nook to disappear into. I think the negatives are the stigma surrounding Merseyside for those who have never been or outsiders. Liverpool specifically if often seen as a deprived and backward city (I have found from talking with those who haven’t actually been here) which is so far from the truth. I feel like mass media depictions have had a lot to do with that. I have met so many talented, erudite and impressive people in Liverpool. It’s a glorious place to live and work.
4. What does independence / being independent mean to you?
Independence means the freedom to be able to make choices and act on them without repercussion or obstacle.
5. Is Merseyside a good place to be independent?
I feel that Merseyside is a great place to be independent. Since I moved here in 2016 I feel like the whole city has taken me under its wing. People have been wholeheartedly supportive and wonderful.
6. What are your favourite examples of independence / the independent in Merseyside?
When a new indie business pops up there are queues around the block in support of them. Merseyside holds its independence close to its heart and applauds those who are brave enough to strike out on their own. The indie food places in Merseyside are insanely good. I’ve never been in a place with so much incredible choice of food and drink oppositions from cuisines around the world. The creative scene is also awesome, and people are incredibly open and willing to give new things a go.
7. What is your favourite cultural organisation in Merseyside and why?
Central Library was one of the main reasons for me moving to Liverpool. It’s just an incredible building, from the modernisations to the old reading rooms. The literature selection is exceptional. The museums are also brilliant. I love how much free stuff there is to do culturally in Liverpool, meaning that there is very little that is out of access to everyone.
8. What is your favourite place in Merseyside and why?
The library! I love it. I really love the lake in Greenbank Park as well. In all seasons that lake is awesome to watch. The herons, ducks, geese, moorhens all squawking and pecking around. The light through the reeds hitting the water on an Autumn day, the cherry blossoms blooming in the spring. It’s really glorious.
9. If you could make Merseyside different, what would you change, and why?
There are a great deal of landlords who don’t live here purchasing properties and flipping them into HMOs for students when there are student accommodations left empty. This ousts families out of catchment areas for schools and parks and often those houses go into disrepair. I think that there needs to be more discussion between the council and the university on making student accommodation affordable for those students attending the courses and for the HMOs to be limited and regulated. This also effects families and individuals finding affordable housing. Property development seems to take over places where artists and musicians thrive. The culture is built, and then large companies come in and knock it down. We need to allow for there to be space for working class people to be able to mobilise in the art world. Working class voices are important to culture and it has to come from all angles.
10. Describe Merseyside to someone who’s never visited
Greener than you would expect. All the food in the world. Name a cuisine… we’ve got it! Friendly, talkative, jovial, helpful. There will be a party ANYWHERE they can fit one. Culturally rich and willing to be open to new experiences.