The working class

Australia & United Kingdom 2015-18

Beginning in 2015, The Working Class came into fruition through documenting professional artists presenting as part of Adelaide Fringe. However, unlike common production photography, the series focuses on the moment the artist exits the stage after performing. Sweaty and dirty, the artist emerges seeping with exhaustion and emotion. Specifically The Working Class emphasises the extreme, yet often euphoric realities of those artists working to challenge the status quo and confront issues of inequality, gender, etc on the stages of the worlds largest arts festivals: The Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

The Working Class examines the role of the artist as entrepreneur and key facilitator of a small to medium sized business, often as sole trader, working within the greater economy. The title references the blue-collar workers of the industrial revolution, who used skilled physical labour as a means to generate income.

By re-contextualising this term and applying it to this select group of Fringe artists, the series challenges a commonly held perception that artists are a ‘drain on the economy,’ unskilled and non-vital to economic enhancement. By associating them with the working class, this series highlights their value, and the value of the arts and culture within broader Australian and international society. 

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