My practice explores the complicated relationship between class, politics, histories and the built environment through moving and still image making.
Nick Smith is a multi-disciplinary artist based between London and Liverpool. Class as a site of tension or misunderstanding is an ongoing area of interest. He uses his work to reflect on personal experiences from his upbringing in Merseyside between 1982-2003, a turbulent period that he considers to have been overlooked within the historical narrative of the UK. Working predominantly from an archive created from his personal photographs, videos and visual research. On his work Smith writes ‘I make images in order to facilitate evocations that connect the past to the present. The work usually starts with a specific moment of departure and/or arrival within the realms of publicness, regionality, memory and the recent past’.
He has had solo exhibitions at OUTPOST Gallery studios, (Norwich), OUTPUT gallery, (Liverpool), Harlow Museum, (Essex), Photofusion, (London) and Concord Space, (LA) and partaken in group shows at Cornerhouse, (Manchester), The Quad, (Derby), Karst, (Plymouth), Leeds Arts University, (Leeds) APT Gallery, (London) and Campbell Works, (London). His work is held in the Henry Moore Archive and in the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive.
He holds an MA in Photography from the Royal College of Art, 2012 and a BA (4D) from Central Saint Martins, 2007.
Where Were You When It Was Shit?
HD Video / 15:40 min / 2020
A split screen video (that) examines the artist’s youth growing up here in Merseyside from 1974-1996, a turbulent period for the region. Created using found & archival footage, and drawing influences from social realist landscape painting and DJ sets from the mid 90s, the video features the Kirkby rent strike, Toxteth Riots, Dockers Strike, Quadrant Park, Liverpool Garden Festival and This Morning with Richard and Judy, as the artist reflects on a social landscape wherein history might be on the verge of repeating itself.
Within Years: Liverpool
HD Video / 08:59 min / 2020
A short collaborative film with Niloo Sharifi; “which takes into consideration many moments in time throughout Liverpool’s history. The film draws parallels with the anti-lockdown protests in Liverpool, whereby minorities groups in the working class, who for a long time have suffered under the government, take a disease or virus as a point of contention for their suspicion and paranoia, as if it newly proves the agenda behind their suffering”. These things seem to happen in cycles and this investigates how some of the explosive issues that have recently impacted in the city spiral through history into the present moment. The film was created in response to my exhibition at OUTPUT gallery being closed due to lockdown restrictions in Liverpool during November 2020.