First up on our visual arts workshops is political artistivist and cultural ambassador Leroy Cooper.
455 Smithdown Road
“I use my photography as a foundation element for a 3 hours writers workshops. I use music as stimulation for workshop creativity, the lyrical content being inspirational for workshop attendees. I provide boombox and CDs.
I sometimes use painting as a gateway activity to higher consciousness and for reflection on the meaning of life to each individual. I use the spoken word to challenge our preconceptions of people and raise awareness to diversity and cultural appreciation of those from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds. I use small canvases and acrylic paints. I sometimes use photocopied versions of my photography in my workshop.
I see the Creative Arts as a therapeutic and healing process for those lacking confidence, lacking self belief and requiring an ’empowerment intervention’. It is amazing what people can create when they let go of the fear of rejection. My workshop promotes positive mental attitude and celebrates the individual’s unique value and their ‘cosmic’ connectedness to all humanity and nature itself. ”
LOVE LIFE… LOVE LIVERPOOL !
I see my artistic function as one of creating work that causes the viewer to “question their preconceived ideas” on whichever “subjects” I approach.
It could be social history and change within the multi-cultural and diverse Toxteth community as recorded through documentary photography.
It could the continuing decline and influence of institutional Christian religious dogma in our ever more secular society.
It could be gender issues raised by the empowerment of women over the last 30 years and men’s struggle to re-invent the concept of Masculinity in the 21st Century.
My work does not provide answers but it DOES raises and provoke questions within the minds of the viewers and ask them to question themselves about their gut emotional feelings and response to the work.
To get the viewer to question their understanding of and insights into the issues raised in my work and to question their own beliefs held, based on their prior knowledge and information or even lack of it.
To get the viewer to question my motivations and why the subjects or issues are important or even matter to me , the artist.
I want my work to make people think on all different levels. Most importantly of all I want the viewers to
THINK FOR THEMSELVES and not to be afraid or prejudicial but open minded to seeing the world from a different angle.
My work being a jumping off point for internal debate, for social conversation and for communal discussion.
Maybe causing the viewer not to sleep walk through their daily life but to wake up to the beauty of life all around them, hidden in unexpected places and behind different cultural faces.
This beauty is what I have found through looking at the world, my Liverpool, with new eyes and creating work with that beauty embedded in it.
My work and I, represent the hidden beauty and strength of Liverpool and its unique culture and its fantastic people .
LOVE LIFE… LOVE LIVERPOOL..!