Through this practice as research project, I examine how working-class background effects individual experiences of working as a socially engaged artist in the UK . The context of this research is scholarship into class, race, gender, and health inequality in the creative and cultural industries, specifically socially engaged art practices. To conduct this praxis, I deploy a practice as research (PaR) methodology. Specifically, the dynamic praxis system.
Significant academic findings arising from my research evidence a paucity of research quantifying and analysing the experiences of working-class artists involved with making contemporary socially engaged art. This represents a crisis of knowledge in terms of understanding how class background determines access to employment opportunities and validation when working as a socially engaged artist.
Without in-depth research into how class background shapes who gets to make socially engaged art, it remains impossible to fully understand how class origin influences the creative content, working experiences and success of contemporary socially engaged artists.
I use my artistic praxis to respond to these omissions. A main practice-based finding is that the convivial listening protocol offers a new PaR method to better understand how class origin shapes day to day experiences when working as a socially engaged artist. I propose convivial listening methods are incorporated into future research into class inequality in the socially engaged arts sector.
These PaR findings are of significance to socially engaged artists and academics researching class inequality in the field of socially engaged arts and the creative and cultural industries.
Further, they are of use to scholars and artists interested in how theories and practices of listening and care can facilitate candid conversations about the lived experience of intersectional class inequality in the arts, and society at large.