‘Working Class’. It’s a phrase that speaks volumes about a huge part of the Northern Experience, and it paints a slightly different picture depending on who you are talking to. Some from the Tees Valley area will think of older ideas of working class life, on the train lines and in the mines, looking back at their parents, grandparents, or even their own experiences growing up. But others may look at themselves and their friends working as essential worker’s in shops, stocking shelves, serving customers and cleaning.

ARC’S new exhibition considers the question: “What Does It Mean To Be Working Class?”

What are the struggles? What are the joys and points of pride? And why is it important? Lizzie Lovejoy, Artist of Change for ARC and the lead artist on this project, said:

“The experience of being working class is generationally different. I am interested in trying to represent the many sides and intricacies to it. The global pandemic has certainly brought light to the stark differences in life equality across the UK, with internet access becoming essential for education, working and connection to the world around us and yet so many homes are still without that necessity. My own working class background experiences are so different from so many of the people I have been to uni with and I am so grateful for my parents doing their best and working hard for me and my siblings.”

Lovejoy will be presenting visual works to represent the members of the Tees Valley area, presenting their words, stories and feelings in creative art work in order to celebrate them. They will also be joined by various artist from the Tees Valley area who will share some of their own work in answer to the question “What Does It Mean To Be Working Class?”

Join us online, and while you walk through the streets of Stockton, from August 3rd consider the many perspectives of this theme.