To be read is all the motivation needed to write.
This is a mantra that I have recited to myself often. It’s one I live and work by, and I’ve quoted it many times to others.
However, the City of Culture bid highlighted that the meaning behind those words goes much deeper than that. It’s not enough to be read, I want to be understood, as I am sure all artists do.
And that lit a fire in me.
I want my city to be understood. I’m tired of the worn-out cliché’s that are forever attached to Stoke on Trent. There’s more to this city than lazy journalism ever suggested. I want my city to be understood through its history, its culture and through its people. Each one of us makes Stoke on Trent the city that it is, and I, as an artist presented with the chance to provide a national platform upon which I can help highlight the array of artistic diversity we have at work in the city, see it as my duty to seize upon it, and do whatever it takes to raise the profile of our creative community.
Whether we are awarded the title or not, there are no losers in this process. I want my children to grow up proud of their city. I want them to grow up in a city ripe with opportunities for artistic expression, a city nurturing the gifts of its people.
I believe that city can be Stoke on Trent.
And that is why I am backing the bid.