Caitlin reflects on two weeks work experience at ROAR

As a student on two weeks of work experience, you’d expect to just get some retail job or work at the council or whatever, but no. I just happened to stumble across ROAR, and boy was that a wild ride.

As soon as you’re in, the atmosphere isn’t like anywhere else. They’re artists after all, and one of the first things I witnessed was Ken complaining how he sat on an ants nest at The Floating Cinema event in Sheffield; I watched as he was doing what looked like some sort of dance because he was still itching! Immediately I could tell how laid-back the place is and how well everyone gets along with each other.

It’s even conveyed in the whole style of the office! Each person to their own desks crammed with such a variety of stationery and objects — Like this one (mildly terrifying) ornament which they just kinda shake and the bells ring.

There’s paper, artwork, photographs, whiteboards and everything all over the place and walls, too! You can clearly tell it belongs to artists just with one look at it.

I was also intrigued by the way taps were everywhere you looked; sculpted, laser cut, they were just everywhere. When I asked about this- because it does seem very odd- I found out that it’s because Rotherham is where a part of the tap was made, and Rotherham doesn’t take enough pride in it so ROAR does it for the whole town! I actually found it to be a lovely fact.

And we had to cover the most crucial topics, for example: whether those pens/pencils with the wobbly ends are actually as great as they seem. Answer depended on who you ask.

When it came to creating art at the Extravaganza, I witnessed the strangest things take place. For example throwing rope over some pipe up at the ceiling so you can tie some graphite on one end and just have it swing over some paper, and that’s it, art. Or taking the blades and everything off a fan, attaching some sort of wire with ink or something on the end, and using the fan turned on to draw with…

I honestly just do not understand how they come up with this stuff, and I think that’s one of the best parts about it.

Genuinely, this experience opened up many opportunities to me. I got to sit in meetings with the CEP and others (though trying to take the minutes of some were admittedly awful to keep up with). I had my art featured in an exhibition for the first time and met many talented artists, and learnt a lot of new things.

I don’t know what I was expecting when I signed up, but I can say for sure it wasn’t this!

Overall it’s a solid 20/10 and I am definitely up for becoming a member when I’m old enough to do so!