By Steve Cooke
Rochdale Town Centre is looking better than I can ever remember and. It promises to get even better will the renovation of our Town Hall and the transformation of the surrounding area.
A walk around the town centre is becoming like a visit to a rather exciting, innovative, living art gallery.
We have a plethora of stunning murals including the latest contribution from local artist Doodlher.
Victoria Whitaker [Doodlher] is a Rochdale based pen artist with a passion for telling stories and sparking curiosity through her stunning paper illustrations and wall murals.
She chose Doodlher as her art alias - a combination of “doodle” and “her”. She came up with the name ‘waking up from my sleep at 3am one morning in late 2018’.
Surprisingly Vic never received any formal art training although she almost chose Fine Art as a university course but opted for studying French. She explains that she was worried that turning her natural love for drawing into an academic pursuit could threaten its integrity. ‘I didn’t want it to become a chore, and I wanted to keep it on my terms. Instead, I did my French degree, and enjoyed art on the side’.
She cites places, people, stories, and history as huge influences to her work, stating that she enjoys working to topical themes and sharing messages through her art.
The key feature in her compositions is black pen illustration. Once upon a time my detailed drawings that almost always include a flat colour background or collage of flat colours from a similar palette.
Vic explains, ‘I enjoy how the contrasting combination of detailed pen work and solid colour really makes the black and white details jump off the page. Without the colour, it would simply be a black sketch, but with the colour, the white is no longer just the surface of the drawing, but an important layer in the image too’.
She been commissioned many times to design and create mural art, both indoors and outdoors. Despite their size, these murals, like paper size artwork, all share black pen as their common feature.
You can encounter her work across our town centre with such as:
Co-operative Hub Mural
The Duke of Wellington Mural
and her very latest, just completed, near the entrance to the Exchange shopping centre.