Sean Kerr

Hidden Creatives: Sean Kerr

Published: 24 November 2022
Filed under: Arts and culture

Hidden Creatives is a portrait exhibition which explores the creative diversity in the Blackhorse Lane Creative Enterprise Zone (CEZ) (Link to CEZ page). For this project photographer, Andy Donohoe was tasked with exploring the different corners of the district to find creatives which demonstrated the broad mix of practices and technical backgrounds. The images have been printed in large format and have been exhibited throughout the CEZ in public places. 

Sean Kerr: Artist, maker, producer, carpenter and set builder. Use google maps to find where the portrait is located

I studied Fine Art at UWE Bristol and after graduating became the art curator for Secret Garden Party a music and arts festival based in Cambridge. Here I made a lot of links in the live event industry and started building stages at Glastonbury, Boomtown and internationally at some festivals in Australia and France. The festival world for me became a big family that I would essentially live with for 6 months of the year. In between live event work I was maintaining my own practice and also making large-scale art works for artists. Sometimes I’m on the tools and in a harness on ropes installing large pieces of set and at other times I'm making bespoke DJ units to very specific precise measurements, it's definitely varied.

I absolutely think Blackhorse Lane has the potential to grow as creative destination. I think there is young energy in the area and lots of people willing to collaborate and experiment. One thing that might threaten or make it harder to thrive is if physical space becomes too expensive or simply developed into residential.

Where I work is extremely important, the staff at Yonder make it a second home for me. There’s a smile in the morning when I arrive, a joke when they hand over my many items of post and a wave goodbye on my way out. The people I share my workshop with are amazing and full of knowledge, willing to help when a delivery arrives or let me borrow screws when I have run out. It is a community and working freelance can sometimes be quite isolating.

The creative industries absolutely 100% need protecting. With the current government in power, it feels like creatives are at the bottom of the list, any funding that was easily available is harder to now obtain or no longer exists and the arts are simply not a priority. When we have a government that has plans to cut 50% funding to arts subjects at university level and a situation where there has been a 43 per cent fall in local authority arts funding from 2007 to 2018 creativity needs protecting. Artist studios, workshops, dance spaces, practice rooms, music studios, night clubs, museums, libraries and culture in general is under threat from developers. Large affordable spaces that help nourish creatives and nurture talent are being knocked down and replaced by flats and not affordable ones at that. Creative spaces need to be accessible to local communities and not an elitist environments, we need to continue and strive to become more educated on the wider issues surrounding the situation culture is in this country and fight to protect it for the benefit of everyone.