Adam Ogden is a 3D designer and visual artist who uses scrap materials to create artworks which celebrate the lives of local characters he meets on the streets – and in the pubs – of Rossington; a former mining village in Doncaster. His exhibition, The Long And The Short Of It, is currently showing in the White Gallery at The University Centre, High Melton. The following Facebook conversation says a lot about the attitudes of the majority of Doncaster based artists we have spoken to over the years.
Above: Ally the Wood Cutter Ally was an allotment man, the go to guy if you wanted anything doing. His appearance was more that of a mad scientist than a council worker, with his out of control hair, big bushy beard and glass eye that never aimed forward. People always went to Ally with big wood project as everyone knew he had a sawmill he made in part and bodged in others. This sculpture represents him and another chap cutting the raw wood before sending it through the sawmill.
“Heya dude, I need to ask you a few things for an article we’re writing for the Doncopolitan. What is your art dream for Rosso? Where would you like to be in 10 years time? What’s your thoughts on having to move to London or Berlin to get recognised as an artists? Or is it enough for you to be recognised by your community as an artist, so that you can make work that serves and inspires the people around you? If you could make a living doing that would you consider that you’ve ‘made it’? Sorry to bombard you!
“Hi Rachel. Firstly I don’t think it matters where you are based to make an impact. True, there are more opportunities in London and Berlin but why should I place myself in an already crowded pond? I am an engineer at heart so I’d rather build my own pond and grow a community where I live. That, to me, just seems more of a Bohemian thing to do. Don’t lead or follow, but embrace the community around you and network and collaborate and prove to people that there really is art beyond the ‘art capitals’. ‘Making It’, to me, is not about making money or finding fame, it is interaction between viewer and my art on a mass scale and understanding it’s impact As for my dream for Rossington – I don’t need one. I can already see change happening in some areas.
From the closing of the pit there was something missing from Rosso, but now there is a change happening. The industrial estate has had a new lease of life with the building of the bypass, giving the village an industrial heart once again and a focus for my local art in the future…. The art scene in Rossington is still lacking, but it is definitely improving, although I would like to see a few more big community art projects.”
Photography ©Adam Ogden, 2014
Above: Frank, a Johnnie Walker and orange cordial drinker A man who spends his afternoon drinking and playing snooker at the club. A secret art lover who doesn’t concentrate on one media, skipping from oils to water colours and rug making.
The White Gallery is an initiative setup to host regular exhibitions by New Fringe Fellowship, staff and students at the University Centre. Follow Aam Ogden on Twitter: @TeamOgden