The Man in the Middle
Inspired by the artwork ‘Digmoor’ and ‘Map of an Englishman’, by the internationally acclaimed artist Grayson Perry, a new project 'The Man in the Middle' looks at what is currently at the forefront of the Worcestershire mans’ mind.
Taking place throughout the spring and summer, the project is exploring ‘What is Worcester(shire) man’.
Working with Visual Artist, Sarah Edwards and Filmmaker, Nicola Prestage, Steve a Worcester based artist, ran workshops and performances with men of 18+ years of age in the locality of Worcestershire. The workshops were based on the themes from Perry's original work; namely mental health, class, territory and masculinity; the team plan to work with both urban and rural communities and a variety of ages.
" I have found the workshops interesting, entertaining, enlightening yet at times sobering.."
Steve worked with men at The Firefly Public House, Worcester Criminal Rehabilitation Centre, University of Worcester as well as running individual one to one discussions with men to get to understand just what modern Worcester man is thinking. The workshops became the inspiration for Steve and his artists to create visual installations, films and performances.
“I have found the workshops interesting, entertaining, enlightening yet at times sobering,” said Steve Wilson, Project Manager for ‘The Man in the Middle’. “I have always admired Grayson Perry as both an artist and a man and to do a project based on his art is a fantastic privilege for me. As someone middle aged and living in the middle of Britain this is a very interesting subject for me.”
He continued “Like a lot of men I love what people may perceive to be masculine stuff but at times I feel totally challenged by what people may expect of me and also what I expect from myself. I wanted to open this subject up and ask questions such as ‘what is modern man? Why do men find it difficult to show emotion? Why do some men act more violently than women?’. Working with Nicky and Sarah as two female artists in an all-male environment has also been very interesting too. I can’t wait to get to Croome and get people talking and taking part in the project.”
“The atmosphere made me feel comfortable and there were so many friendly faces,” said Martin Wilkes who attended one of the recent workshops. “I am very interested in the role of masculinity both in a global and local way. I found the workshop on aggression to be a key aspect of masculinity for me. I learnt about the complexity and multi-faceted nature of the subject but there are healthy channels for powerful emotions.”
Visitors can experience 'The Man in the Middle' visual installations at the end of May - details will be released soon.
Man In The Middle is delivered by Steve Wilson with Sarah Edwards, Lee Farley and Nicola Prestige in association with Croome National Trust. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England, working in partnership with Severn Arts, Worcestershire County Council, and Croome National Trust.