Yusuf Paul McCormack:
I am an Artist, Poet, Writer/Author and Trainer, based in Rugby, Warwickshire. I took early retirement from the civil service in 2015 and wrote my first verse in November of that year. It was an epiphany moment and, consumed, I wrote solidly for the next 12 months about my childhood growing up in children's institutions.
Here I'd been taught the lessons of shame, rejection, fear, silence and retribution...remarkably not only did I survive, I thrived.
In December 2016 I began to translate my written work on to canvas, where I attempted to explore the emotions that I was unable to voice as a child. The rest, they say, is history.
My work navigates my attempts to express the world I experienced, felt and witnessed as a child who was illegitimate, mixed raced and not wanted, accepted or welcomed by society.
A product of the 60's immigration to Great Britain, I seek to articulate these experiences through verse and canvas. It’s been painful, but honest, reflecting a world that is talked about, but not fully understood, and where those that grow up in it, know that something isn’t right, yet often remain unheard and unable to do anything about it.
My art is my intuitive way of working using memory and imagination as I am learning and developing my own style. I now use my combined experiences as an artist, a child of the state, to inform those who genuinely want to improve and sustain better outcomes for those who never chose their start in life.
“We are not only the 'negative' statistics that fuel society's beliefs & the media, that my friend is the result of system failures! We are the majority who have successfully turned the expected statistics on their head, shook them and got on with life, yet rarely get spoken about or heard”