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Make some noise for Silent Style at Fret don’t Fret

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Rebecca Gathercole, Lindsay McGlone & Warren Draper

Unless you’re in the habit of walking around Doncaster with your eyes shut, you’ll have noticed a very distinctive rabbit has taken over our streets. This rabbit is the brainchild of Imogen Carline, a local artist whose bold drawings have seen a surge in popularity.

Imogen’s World, as its known, is now so iconic it’s inspiring others. Makeup artist Rebecca Gathercole saw Imogen’s self portraits and immediately wanted to create a makeup look based upon them. Together with photographer Shane Pegram and influencer Lindsay McGlone, a series of photographs have been made showcasing the Imogen Look. These photographs will be on display at Fret don’t Fret on Tuesday 23rd of July as part of Doncopolitan Crawl.

Talent runs in the Carline family, as Imogen’s dad, Frank is playing songs to accompany the exhibition, along with band Al and the Geriatrics. I spoke to Imogen’s mum, Sue, to find out more;

‘Imogen is a 17-year-old, non-verbal, severely autistic artist. She uses art to express how she sees her world and the things that are important to her. She is a multimedia artist who is inspired by the materials that catch her eye. Animals, family and cartoons form the basis of her artwork, which she revisits periodically. Frank is playing at the same venue to support Imogen in her role as an emerging artist in the Doncaster culture scene.’

Frank Carline is a friend of Zel who owns Fret don’t Fret, a charming guitar shop on Priory Place. Because of this friendship, Zel was keen to host Silent Style, ‘Frank’s a friend and he likes Imogen’s art so nice to be a part of something like that, to support a direct cause, someone you know.’ Lindsay McGlone wanted to be involved because she feels a connection to Imogen. She explained;

‘I’m a model for the shoot that’s celebrating and is inspired by a young artist called Imogen! We will be experimenting with textures and colours to hopefully represent Imogen’s World. I really wanted to be a part of it, firstly because I genuinely have a love for Imogen’s work and secondly because as Imogen lives with ASD and I am a support worker it’s a nice tie between us. I am passionate about celebrating individuality and difference and that’s something I feel Imogen represents in abundance. I’m super excited to see the outcome and I’m honoured to be asked to be a part of it!

When people ask me how I became an influencer I always feel a little odd. Like as soon as someone feels a certain way, does something because of you or in result of. You are an influencer. I guess I’ve just been lucky, I work with some of my favourite brands and I’m so grateful. I intended to make my account influential but I really didn’t think my growth would be this quick.’

Her popularity might be a shock to Lindsay, but anyone who has seen her stunning Instagram account won’t be surprised. She’s an absolute natural in front of the camera and I predict this won’t be the last collaboration we see between her and Rebecca Gathercole. Speaking of the makeup artist who spearheaded this event, I asked Rebecca about her background and inspiration and received what can only be described as a personal essay in return. It was so good I’m printing it here in full:

‘I like most of my art to express emotion and feeling. I got into make-up being a TV & film geek as a teenager, watched a lot of Doctor Who, and regularly had horror film nights with my parents. I especially liked the behind the scenes footage, seeing how the artists would create crazy monsters or complex characters. Didn’t even realise makeup as a career choice until I dropped out of college doing media studies.

I enrolled in makeup courses at another college, I was unemployed, depressed and discovered my passion, and signed up to a make-up and sfx degree for the fun of it. It’s not really that deep.

In my second year of uni I found my niche, I absolutely love character design, and specialised in this in my final year. Creating an abundance of complex, interesting characters for my portfolio. Learning so many different techniques to achieve this. I want my images to tell a story, get people thinking. I think make-up can be quite frowned upon because a lot of people think of Instagram, crazy contouring and the “glam” side of it, but there’s so many different sides to makeup as a whole. I’m arty but shite at traditional art, my canvas is the human body & face.

I pitched the idea of working with Imogen’s world to Rachel earlier this year, I was so inspired by Imogen and her story, my original idea was to advertise her t-shirts, and make them more “fashion”. I wanted to push myself outside of character design, but also provide Imogen’s world exposure and free advertising. Imogen is one of the most inspiring, and creative young individuals I’ve met, she touches my heart and i literally just want to help get her name out there.

Big lashes, bright, concentrated blush, she breaks the rules when she does her own makeup. Her art & creativity speaks for her, it’s her way of communicating. This shoot is all about Imogen, I wanted to let her know that she inspires me, like they say, imitation is the highest form of flattery.’

I strongly suspect we’ll be seeing many imitations of this striking makeup look after the Doncopolitan Crawl. This event, as with all the others, is completely free to attend and takes place from  5pm on Tuesday 23rd of July.

This is the final blog in our Doncopolitan Crawl series. I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing them.

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Bomb along to Scicluna’s and get tangled up in yarn

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club and everyone involved

Scicluna’s Deli has long been a market institution and is a regular on the Doncopolitan  Crawl circuit. On Tuesday 23rd of July, from 5pm, visitors can enjoy a beautiful art exhibition by local painter Penny Cawley, accompanied by music from Laura Kelly. But the highlight for many will be Mamma Wheatley’s Craft Club’s latest yarn bomb, this time in collaboration with new crochet group Mother Hookers.

As a self-confessed yarn addict I couldn’t wait to talk to Mamma Wheatley, aka June McMillan, to find out more about what to expect from this year’s yarn- filled extravaganza. She told me ‘We were all chatting at Craft Club and saying we wanted to do something to bring people together and create a bit of fun along the way, so we came up with the idea of a yarn bomb. We have been round all the craft clubs and spoken to lots of people while we have been measuring up for the event and got quite a few helpers. We have created lots of stuff which will appeal to all ages and will make people smile. We went last year and loved it so this year we wanted to join in and show off many people’s knitting and crochet talent.’ They’ve certainly got some talented knitters and crocheted, I can’t wait to take a selfie with this adorable Dalek.

Painter Penny Cawley is a regular exhibitor at the deli. Her inspiration comes from ‘old boats and old cars and Doncaster art club demos. I’m exhibiting at the deli and that’s where I heard about the Crawl. Penny finished that she thought the Crawl was ‘such a good idea’, to which I can only agree.

Scicluna’s owner, Josie, explained that Penny is such a good customer and they have a good working relationship, so she wanted to support her in kind. The purpose of the art exhibits is to raise money for the charity Mary’s Meals. The 10% commission that the deli takes from sales of the artwork all goes to Mary’s Meals.

Singer Laura Kelly is a regular on the Doncaster music scene. I asked her about her inspiration and why she wanted to be part of Doncopolitan Crawl and this is what she had to say;

‘What inspired me to start performing was…Watching KT Tunstall on Jools Holland about 10 years ago. It was my first exposure to live looping and I was in absolute awe of it! Live looping is the foundation to my music, without that introduction I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t be playing today.

I want to be involved with the crawl as it’s a great opportunity to experience a side of Doncaster that people may not have seen before… even if you’ve lived here all your life. 

It’s a wonderful opportunity to meet new people, experience new venues and sample the best of what our local Donny culture has to offer.’

Can’t disagree with that, Laura!

This event is completely free and takes place as part of Doncopolitan Crawl on Tuesday 23rd of July , from 5pm.

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Doncopolitan presents Nightlife at the Museum

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Vision

Doncopolitan is bringing the magic of a weekend to a weeknight with their Nightlife experience at Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery. The event will take place as part of Doncopolitan Crawl on Tuesday 23rd of July. Visitors are recommended to attend from 8pm.

Club culture hits Doncaster Museum with Doncopolitan’s first pop-up bar, serving special gin and tonics infused with five-leaf ginseng. The ginseng was grown locally at Bentley Urban Farm. The G and T’s will be available for £3.50 while the rest of the night out is free.

You can’t have a club night without a DJ and we’ve brought local underground house phenomenon Vision. I spoke to member Lewis who told me a bit about Vision’s background and why they enjoy working with Rachel Horne and Doncopolitan.

‘Vision is Doncaster’s leading underground house music event, bringing the best in rising talent and in-demand artists from across the UK. Vision saw the launch at Vintage, Silver Street back in 2017 which then lead the brand to take on venues: Huellas, Tiki, Mañana, Secrets, Bijou and most recently CAST all of which have been sell-out events. The brand consists of DJs, promoters, graphic designers, content creators and entrepreneurs that work as a collective. Creativeness and out-of-the-box thinking allowed Vision to continuously host exclusive and unique shows within its hometown of Doncaster, permitting a cultural social society to form alongside music consumers.

We will be providing DJ sets with a journey through underground house music in mind that span over the years, inspiring us to be where we are today. Also spreading awareness of our culture and how much impact we’re having within Doncaster positively and socially.

The reason we wanted to be involved came from Rachel’s passion and drive towards culture within Doncaster. She has given us a lot over the past year and we love working with her. To get us involved in this is great and also provides a platform to people formally see who we are and what goes on behind our brand Vision.’

Also performing on the night will be Ryan Harsten of Urban Conceptz, part of the Cast Associate Programme. Ryan explained as an artist and performer I’m inspired by a plethora of things. I’m inspired by things that make me uncomfortable, ideas that make me nervous and projects that have true risk and integrity. Things that push me out of my comfort zone, things that challenge me and cause me to evolve.

I’m an artist that thrives on improvisation, impulse and instinct. I react. I feel. I immerse. I’m involved with the Doncopolitan  Crawl because I want to support the arts in Doncaster. I want to meet other performers, artists, creatives and people, and see places and spaces I’m aware unaware of. I’m excited to support this event going forward and pushing the movement, culture and community in an upward direction for Doncaster.’

If this sounds like your cup of (g and) tea, come along to Doncaster Museum and Art Gallery from 8pm on Tuesday 23rd of July. If your out in town from 5pm, check our website for info on other events that make up this year’s Doncopolitan Crawl.

Doncopolitan Crawl

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Explore life on the front line of austerity at Doncopolitan HQ

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: Jim Mortram

 

You couldn’t have a Doncopolitan Crawl without a big event at Doncopolitan HQ. Happily, the team has pulled out all the stops and created a stunning photography exhibition entitled On Earth To Make The Numbers Up. The exhibition features work from Jim Mortram and Broth Tarn, with 13 Women providing live music.

The exhibition title comes from a book by Evelyn Haythorne about her life in Doncaster in the 1940s and 50s. Haythorne’s book gave a unique insight into working-class life, something which both Broth Tarn and Jim Mortram have continued in their photography work. 

Jim Mortram has built a national profile on his photographs of everyday life for people living in poverty brought about by the Government’s austerity measures. I asked him about his inspiration and he told me;

‘Honestly, two things inspire me, Austerity and the repercussions of such a brutal, chosen policy, from day one has been the singular causation for my picking up a camera, an audio recorder and getting out into my community to document their testimony and experiences and two, those in my community (Just you any other community around the UK) that have been hardest hit, their endurance OF Austerity. 

I feel honoured to be a conduit for these stories, to take them to any town, city within the UK, Doncaster is no exception, I’ve found that the North of the UK to have been much more receptive to these stories.’

Putting his money where his mouth is, Mortram will be selling limited edition signed prints of his photographs, but rather than collecting the profits himself, all proceeds are going to Doncaster Food Bank.

Barnsley based Broth Tarn takes his photos using a 35mm camera. His brooding shots of the female figures in his life brought him media attention and we are delighted to be hosting an exhibition of his work in Doncaster.

Rounding off the night will be music by 13 Women (who are actually three blokes). They informed me ‘Our music is red with purple flashes. We want to play the Crawl because we know a good thing when we see it. We like folk art and this Crawl is very that.’ Check out their YouTube video below to find out what they sound like.

This exhibition is free to enter and takes place on Tuesday 23rd of July, from 5pm, as part of the Doncopolitan Crawl.

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Gallop down to The Jam Horse for a night of horsing around.

Words: Vicky Prior

Photography: The Jam Horse & Madame Zucchini

Since opening last year, The Jam Horse has become a Scot Lane institution. I’m often to be found in there having a coffee or just generally skiving off my work for Doncopolitan! On Tuesday 23rd of July, as part of Doncopolitan Crawl, The Jam Horse is staying open late to host an art exhibition by Cara McHugh, with entertainment from Madame Zucchini.

Cara McHugh is a local Doncaster artist who is holding her first major exhibition. Her comical horse illustrations are sure to delight Jam Horse customers. I spoke to Cara how to find out what inspires her and how she got started in illustration.

‘What inspired me to do these horses was my mum. I was ill and was bed bound and feeling very low. My mum suggested to do some drawings and get creative to help. She suggested I draw something to do with Doncaster. I thought about it and as I live near the racecourse I thought of drawing a horse race. But I also liked the idea of none of the horses racing. I wanted to have them all racing differently. I started having fun with the drawing. This helped me feel a lot better being stuck in my bed. The drawings are not perfect, but I don’t want to change them as it reminds me of a time when being creative helped me through feeling low. After doing the race I started adding a ladies day of things I have seen at the race course.’

Sheffield based cabaret act Madame Zucchini will be putting on a show for children outside the shop. She performs with a variety of vegetable based characters, including Beyonce Butternut and Darth Tater. Apart from making sure none of her cast end up in a Jam Horse chutney, Madame Zucchini will be offering a variety of children’s activities. She says ‘Vegetables had always been a part of my life, as my father was a fruit and veg merchant in the fens, and my mother loved glamour & the quirky.

Doncaster is always great to visit, and Doncopolitan are right up my street; as they are all about what’s local, sustainable, creative and joyous.’

Rachel Whittaker, proprietor of The Jam Horse who adores anything horsey, is very excited to be hosting Cara McHugh’s exhibition. She says ‘Doncaster’s cultural offerings are increasing by the day. We want to support this movement as much as we can. It showcases what Doncaster businesses have to offer and gives an opportunity to residents to join in cultural and artistic activities.’

These events form part of Doncopolitan Crawl, a series of cultural experiences taking place in Doncaster town centre on Tuesday 23rd of July between 5pm and 9pm.