Grafting Under Tory State With Corbin Shaw

What is your background?

I’m a Yorkshire lad, I grew up on the outskirts of Sheffield. My Dad is a steelworker and my mum a barber. Both my parents are proper grafters, raising four kids as well as chasing their own careers. I’ve grown up in a working-class environment where my parents have had to graft every day. Growing up my Dad would always take me to the firm and show me how hard work has been for him, telling me “if you don’t pull your finger out at school you’ll end up here with me.

What do you do?

I’m currently studying fine art BA at Central Saint Martins. I’m one of the first people in my family to go to university, so coming to London to study art was a big deal for me. When I proposed to my parents I wanted to go study art with no secure job post-degree, the idea was met with many difficulties. The work ethic my parents instilled in me pushes me forward to achieve things I never thought I could.

How are you grafting under the tory state?

As well as studying, I have worked various jobs to support my practice. Moving to London (the most expensive city in the UK) has been a real test as paying for materials, travel, food, rent amongst other things has been a constant worry for me.

What needs to change and how?

I have no idea how to change things in this bloody country! But I can see negative changes coming to post-Brexit Britain. Sadly, we are all going to have to deal with the consequences as it was the countries decision and continue to graft to survive under our Tory government.

Edited by Isobel Gorman-Buckley

12th February 2020

Photography by Fraser Hanley-Nicholls

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