Words: Vicky Prior
Images: Warren Draper
If you go down to Broxholme Lane today you’ll see a futuristic vision of Doncaster complete with tigers, stags, and ladies on motorbikes. This incredible mural was painted by spZero76 as part of the last Doncopolitan Crawl and he’s returning on the 23rd of July for more.
To celebrate, Doncopolitan is hosting a Broxholme Lane Block Party with music and art from some of Doncaster’s finest creatives. The lovely Breaking Beats, responsible for the series of murals around the side of Waterdale, will be on-site alongside FiveFiveDesignz. Breaking Beats have been creating work with young people since 2014 and will be hosting a street art workshop for the evening.
FiveFiveDesignz, aka Craig, started out playing hip hop records at school and in 2007 started playing drum and bass and UK garage. Having worked out from Donny to clubs around the country he then decided to concentrate on his artwork and FiveFiveDesignz was born. Craig still does the occasional gig and will be playing at the Doncaster Caribbean Fun Day this summer. He told me he’s excited to be involved in this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl, where he’ll be spraying brand new artwork, because ‘it’s another part of the cultural shift that’s happening on Doncaster’s timeline right now…It always feels a bit more grim in Donny, especially when I’m painting, maybe that shows through with my surrealistic animal/character type stuff, but I kinda like it like that anyway.’
Providing the music is local grime duo Kannan featuring Mista Kay. Alongside making extremely catchy songs (I know the bare minimum about grime, but I got quite into their stuff when doing a bit of research on YouTube!) Kannan features Doncaster locations prominently in his videos. He says ‘I’m inspired by all sorts of things, mostly music – listening to and creating. Watching videos or filming them. We want to be legends in Doncaster for our music. We wanted to be involved because we really like everything about the Doncopolitan & they have shown us a lot of love and support.’
So please come along to Doncopolitan Crawl on 23rd July, from 5pm, and show Kannan and all our other artists even more love and support.
Warren Draper spent the day photographing some of Doncaster’s finest for Faces of Frenchgate
Words and photography: Warren Draper
To mark the 50th Anniversary of the building of the Frenchgate shopping centre, Doncopolitan are partnering with Frenchgate to create an exhibition to celebrate the people who made the last half century possible. Faces Of Frenchgate will capture the faces, and document the stories, of the beautiful humans who make Frenchgate such a vibrant place to visit. If you would like to take advantage of this unique opportunity to have your portrait taken, or if you would like to share your Frenchgate story (like the guy who remembers his dad taking him to the Arndale to buy a ferret!), then please get in touch:
Unleash your creativity and make some new friends at Craft Club
Words: Charlotte Felters
I CAN’T DO IT! was my first thought when Doncopolitan asked me if I would like to write a piece about Craft Club. I had the same reaction when I read about Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club back in December 2017, but here I am 6 months later, attending and writing about it.
Note to self, say yes to more things.
I originally became aware of Doncopolitan in 2015 at DNweekeND. I remember thinking then that it was more than just a magazine, it was a movement, a different way of thinking, and I wanted to be a part of it. Sometime after DNweekeND, I went to a photography class run by Shane Peagram where I briefly met the magazine’s founders, Rachel and Warren. After just one visit to Donco HQ, I was made to feel really welcome and even gifted a book and a gorgeous print by a local artist. Also, Warren very kindly used a photograph I took that night in an exhibition at the Notorious Aardvark record shop in Doncaster.
Life, work, low confidence and exceptionally low vitamin D meant that I had a long break from anything Doncopolitan related – until Craft Club, that is.
So, what is Craft Club? Apart from exactly what it says on the tin, it’s a group of lovely humans (and one dog) ranging from age nine, through millenials to quite a bit older, who all meet to craft, laugh and chat. Run by June, aka Mama Wheatley, we meet every Monday, 6.30pm – 8.30pm at the Doncopolitan HQ on Copley Road. It’s perfect for those who work all day. We only pay £5 per week and the money is put back into the group to pay for materials and snacks.
The number of crafters varies weekly, so there’s no pressure to come every week if you don’t feel like it. We make anything, from paper flowers to flowerpot men. I’ve even learned to knit, taught by a very patient Rose in an almost perfect (fully clothed) re-enactment of the pottery scene from Ghost. You can bring something of your own to work on or if, like me, you realise you’re not half as creative as you hoped, you can come mainly for the banter and biscuits.
Doncopolitan HQ itself is a really lovely space and it’s always nice to see which exhibition or artwork decorates the walls week-to-week. Most recent was the colourful work of local artist, Imogen, from her exhibition ‘Her World’.
For me, it just took a little bit of encouragement from cofounder, Rachel, to finally turn up. But, when I did, I was immediately welcomed into the group. You don’t need me to tell you the people of Doncaster are a good bunch and that shows in our craft club. If we’re not crafting then we’re laughing, dancing, having cuddles from Rufus (the dog) or being shown how it’s done from a very talented nine-year-old.
What’s also lovely is that, as the weeks have progressed, so has the nature of the group. We’ve had a couple of theatre trips and there’s even a faint mention of a #craftclubontour trip to Bali in 2019.
Of course, everyone has their own reasons for attending the group and equally everyone is welcome. Personally, mine is to try and make a small dent in the often disheartening and depressing cycle of eat, sleep, work, repeat. I can honestly say it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made. I just needed that little push.
So, if you’re reading this or you’ve heard about Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club before and you think you might like to give it a go, then consider this your little push. We’d love to meet you.
Craft club is held every Monday 6.30 – 8.30 pm at Doncopolitan HQ, 83 Copley Road