Ameela reminisces on her two week journey at ROAR

My experience at ROAR was more like a journey as I learned something new about this organisation everyday. As a college art student, I was referred here to do some work experience due to its prominence in the arts in Rotherham. I was told little about this place apart from it having a gallery which exhibits some local artists work (Buzz Gallery). However I was soon to discover all the brilliant and amazing work ROAR does.

Working here, I found out about how ROAR helps local emerging and professional artists make their ambitions and dreams become a reality. They provide resources and advice so that they can reach their full potential. I met Eunice, ROAR’s Art Therapist; it was fascinating to learn more about the use of art as a form of therapy and way of expressing your feelings. Eunice explained to me all the fantastic things ROAR does to benefit people with mental illnesses and, in fact, all the membership. I even met some members who explained how ROAR has helped them through the years.

sculpture piece i found in the ROAR office

The atmosphere is always positive with creativity floating around everywhere. I enjoyed working with staff due to their weirdness and creativity within the arts which I could relate to. I was also captivated by all the weird and wonderful things Ken would invent; everywhere you look you would spot something peculiar like some strange sculptures or laser cut parts. This place had a relaxed working environment as they were all friendly and laid-back, however they did take their passion for this organisation seriously which is quite inspiring to see.

My favourite day working with ROAR was when I visited the Eastwood Community Centre. I enjoyed every second of it as it was amazing to see children being engaged in the interesting and fun activities ROAR had planned for them. It was great to see all the happy faces of the children! (You can read my other blog to found out more about this).

Image of children creating pebble towers at the EaStwood Community Centre

I also enjoyed creating and designing the display window of the ROAR building. It was quiet a challenge gathering all art things that represent and relate to the organisation. I thought it was crucial to leave some of Ken’s work in the window due to his great impact at ROAR. I decided to create a painting of some taps which ROAR takes much pride in as a part of the tap was invented in Rotherham. Furthermore I added some bottles that have been filled with peculiar objects, a project which was part of ROAR’s 2016 Members Exhibition, as I thought this would represent all the amazing but strange ideas ROAR artists come up with.

The bunting i handmade which i made for the window display.

I even got the chance to experience the not so typically arty side of ROAR which involved going to meetings and visiting council members. I got to experience the business side of ROAR which was also fascinating to see.

Overall this experience was unforgettable and amazing. They gave me the freedom to be creative as they always asked for my opinion and ideas on certain aspects of their work. They opened up many opportunities to me that would end up looking amazing on my university personal statement :).

Working here changed my perception of art as I thought art was just about painting pretty pictures, however there is much more to it than that. I discovered that art means something different to everyone and in this way it’s purpose and function is more personal. Art can help people in mysterious ways!

Random abstract painting i found in the resource room which i found intriguing.

I am definitely hoping in the future I will cross paths with ROAR again and hopefully contribute to their organisation. I had such a fun experience!