I found this in Howard Jacobson's L.S.Lowry lecture (as transcribed in the Guardian), and it resonated strongly:
... provincialism becomes an artistic strategy: not a misfortune of birth or temperament, but a wilful rejection, not simply of metropolitan fashion and facility, but of the very idea of a gravitational centre. You haunt the margins because the margins are where independence and originality are to be found.
I am a big fan of L.S.Lowry's "Lonely" landscapes, which unlike his well-known urban scenes are rarely used as a peg on which to hang nostalgia and sentimentality. They have just a tad too much niggling oddness. The seascapes are Sugimotos before Sugimoto, and there is a photographic concentration on the drama-less mundane that fascinates me. I would like to be able to reproduce some of their personality.
Any others here who are proud to be provincial?