Name: Kevin Crooks
Location: St. Helens
1. What is your relationship to Merseyside?
I grew up in St. Helens and currently live and work here.
2. How does Merseyside impact or shape your practice?
I have produced many projects here in St. Helens and the wider Merseyside area, and have also exhibited a selection of my work within the region. Some of the work that I produce has been directly influenced, or has been informed by the places and communities within Merseyside. I have also produced projects which have documented and reflected upon the lives and places within the county.
3. What’s are the positives and negatives of living and working in Merseyside?
I feel I have been able to establish long lasting and positive working relationships with people and organisations who have supported and encouraged my own professional development. I don’t feel that there are any unique disadvantages of living or working in Merseyside. I grew up in St. Helens before relocating to the South East for a considerable number of years before then moving back. I feel that there are unique cultural characteristics which influence a persons understanding and appreciation of the area in which you live and work, however I don’t feel that these necessarily should define the perception of a county.
4. What does independence / being independent mean to you?
Being able to and feeling comfortable in making your own choices
5. Is Merseyside a good place to be independent?
I think so.
6. What are your favourite examples of independence / the independent in Merseyside?
7. What is your favourite cultural organisation in Merseyside and why?
Open Eye Gallery. They have supported my professional career for many years and have provided numerous opportunities for the students that I teach. I also believe that they are uniquely inclusive and that they are incredibly aware of how to effectively engage with communities and individuals.
8. What is your favourite place in Merseyside and why?
The World of Glass in St. Helens, I really appreciate that there is an arts centre within my town that is inclusive and supportive of the creative networks, individuals and organisations that are based within my community.
9. If you could make Merseyside different, what would you change, and why?
I don’t think there is anything I would specifically change.
10. Describe Merseyside to someone who’s never visited
A friendly place which is culturally diverse and unique.