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Doodlher (Vic Whitaker)


Central Rochdale


How has life been for you under Covid-19?

It’s been an unusual experience, that’s for sure. As someone who works from home, I didn’t think that lockdown would have that much of an impact on my daily life. What I came to learn, however, was that all the reasons I’d ever had to leave the house (including the supermarket) were actually more significant towards maintaining my creative balance than I’d previously assumed. I remember vividly the day that I realised I couldn’t just go wander around Touchstones Art Gallery. Of course, I’d
known from the start of lockdown that it was closed, but I guess that fact had never really mentally sunk in. I reckon we’re all guilty of under-appreciating so many aspects of our normal lives. Covid-19 has certainly highlighted that.

What is your chosen creative activity and explain why you have chosen to do this piece

People and places are the focus of all my work. I mostly work in pen & ink and would describe myself as an illustrator.  For the ’19’ project, I decided to take on a Rochdale landmark that I’ve had my eye on for some time. I’m heavily influenced by my surroundings so, as a local to Rochdale Town Centre, many of its buildings and sights often feature in my work.


The Unity Sculpture which can be found on The Esplanade between Touchstones Gallery and the Town Hall was originally commissioned to commemorate the 150th birthday of the Cooperative Movement, founded in Rochdale in 1844. The sculpture features four people meshed closely together and holding hands. Social distancing has been at the centre of everyone’s lockdown experience, so I thought it would be interesting to impose that very same rule onto the characters in the Unity sculpture. Imagine what it would look like if they had to distance themselves from each other. Well, now you don’t have to imagine it, because I drew it! It was lots of fun, and I think the finished piece looks pretty unique and interesting.

Website post about the project

Unity in Lockdown – A Pen & Ink Illustration

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