Geoff Kirkwood (Man Power)
Geoff Kirkwood is a North East born artist, musician, performer and DJ.
Raised in Wallsend on the banks of the river Tyne in the 80s and 90s against the backdrop of the hardships created by the closure of the Swan Hunter Shipyards, as a child Kirkwood was introduced to the nascent Acid House movement of the late 80s via his young mother. Since then, the visceral connection forged with the music and, importantly, culture of dance music has shaped his life and resulted in him becoming Man Power, a DJ, producer and performer of international note.
Kirkwood’s work as Man Power explores the joins and juxtapositions between the myriad dance music sub-genres with his productions and remixes serving as mirror to his curatorial, performative works as a DJ. Broadening his endeavours via his Bed Wetter project in early 2020, Geoff’s current focus is around exploring his own upbringing, regional identity, internationalism, examining prejudices and removing barriers to self expression via multimedia works.
Geoff Kirkwood currently resides in Newcastle with his family after spending 5 years in Monterrey, Mexico.
Talking about his residency, Geoff said:
“It really is the greatest honour of my creative career so far to have been appointed as artist in residence at Sage Gateshead for 2020/2021.
“Growing up where I did. when I did, means that I come from a generation of North Easterners who were wrongly made to believe that arts and culture were for other people and not for “the likes of us”. It’s testament to the region that in less than a quarter century since I left school someone like me can find themself not only being supported in my desire to pursue creating an artwork that is inspired by the North East, but that I would find that support coming from such an iconic local musical institution that is also recognised around the world.
“As much as things have improved in my lifetime it is my belief that there are still many barriers that remain for members of the working classes and those with less privileged backgrounds when it comes to access to participating in the arts, and I hope my appointment to this position, and the artwork that it will enable me to create, might go some way towards removing those barriers and inspiring people with similar backgrounds to my own, or anyone who feels excluded in any way simply because of who they are or where they are from.”