The first collaboration between two Cumbrian artists now features in the Raw Talent space in THe Shed. 

Steve Crook and Jenn Mattinson’s project explores the relationship between portrait photography, local people’s stories and sound.  

In the work exhibited, the lives of four folk from Cumbria are the focus. From a variety of social and economic backgrounds, Gordon, Ross, Dawn and Bob share their passions, experiences, memories and personality through their willingness to be photographed and interviewed.  The people behind the profiles are very genuine, honest individuals at different points in their lives, who express a real passion for their chosen subjects: transport, aspirations to become a champion boxer, horse physiotherapy and music.  The result is a demonstration of how everyone living within our region is contributing to its unique social history. 

Steve Crook and Jenn Mattinson have married together a collection of artistic mediums – portrait photography, oral history, spoken word, poetry and sound effects.  The result reflects the ways in which different art forms can work together and compliment each other to provide a slightly more unconventional way of showcasing and displaying artistic work. 

Claire Sleightholm, Project Co-ordinator for THe Shed said:

“This is an exciting opportunity to see work from local artists with growing reputations that have never been displayed publically before.  It explores Cumbria’s living history in a way that is both creative and engaging.”


Steve Crook’s photography belongs to a genre that combines portraiture and social documentation, inspired by the likes of Daniel Meadows, Tony Ray-Jones, Chris Killip and Larry Fink.  A great deal of his work is presented in the form of photostories or collections.  Recent projects include ‘Rare Breed’, a study of the members of Springfield Homing Club and ‘Jubilee, the way we were’, a series of portraits taken on the day of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.  Steve is currently working with descendants of World War One soldiers to create a photographic link between those who fought and those they fought for.

Jenn Mattinson is a freelance Creative Practitioner, specialising in oral history, sound and media, theatre and reminiscence.  She is passionate about working creatively in local communities, with young people, adults, the older generation and in an intergenerational context.  Jenn is currently working with Morecambe Bay Partnership to facilitate and deliver a four year oral history project centred on the inshore fishing communities across Morecambe Bay.  She is also leading a series of creative arts sessions for older people in West Cumbria and for people living with dementia at Theatre by the Lake in Keswick.

For more information or to contact the artists please visit or email