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Stephen Burke

Born in United Kingdom. Lives in: Birmingham
University College Falmouth

I am a photographic artist and I am interested in people, how they live and work together how environments can shape identities and the way people can sleep so close and live so differently.

Artist photo

Artist Picture

Work of art I would like to make

If I were selected to take part in New Sensations, I would like to undertake a project which would engage with the community living on and around Middleton Road in Kings Heath, Birmingham. Having recently returned to living within this community, I was struck by its diversity, particularly in comparison with the more homogenous community of which I was a part whilst at university in Falmouth. I am interested in the factors which create and unite communities, and in this project hope to examine how the factor of living environment can produce such a varied community. I would like to look at the way in which this shared environment can bring people together and yet simultaneously provide a backdrop for many different lives. By photographing the residents home lives I aim to explore these points of similarity and difference. Since the road is home to both a secondary school and a Sheltered Housing Scheme it encompasses both the start and end of life, a contrast which I would be keen to explore through my work, as well as looking at the "in-between" stages represented throughout the rest of the community. I am eager to celebrate this diverse community and its individual members. I feel that displaying the images produced at a very large scale may lend itself to creating this sense of celebration, by exaggerating rather than belittling the qualities of the sitters. As well as looking at the community both at individual and collective levels, I would like to convey of sense of the microcosmic nature of this community and how it reflects the nation as a whole.

My Artworks (5)

Click on the images to enlarge