Oldham Open – Speaking to the Artists

This week the Gallery Oldham Collective caught up with artist Titus Agbara who is showing a new piece in the Oldham Open 2019.

What is the title of the artwork that you entered into the Oldham Open?

It is called Built on Cotton and Coal.

Can you tell us a bit more about this piece?

It’s inspired by the history of Oldham and my new environment. When researching the history of the town I found out that the historic industry of the area is disappearing, this painting suggests how fleeting life is. This composition reflects the uncertainty of life as it goes up and down like the Huddersfield Road. I have used charcoal to link back to the coal industry and the other vibrant areas are representative of cotton.

Is there a specific idea behind your piece to do you intend the viewer to add their own interpretation?

It’s for the viewer to reflect back to the industrial era, and how it has gradually crepted away. I leave the viewer to imagine why there are no tall chimneys in the painting as suggested by the title of the work.

How long did it take to create the artwork?

It took me about one and a half years to finish this work, but I didn’t work on it continuously. I had other work that needed finishing within a specific timescale so I had to leave it and go back to it later.

Has another artist or event influenced the ideas behind your artwork?

My work is a personal response. In this piece I have tried to capture the spirit of Oldham, as a place.

What made you want to enter the Oldham Open 2019?

I am just being inquisitive. The Oldham Open is an opportunity for artists to get involved in the art world and it has helped my career as an artist.

What advice would you give to other aspiring artists?

Do not limit yourself. There is a time for everything, so keep on keeping your tradition. Being involved in the art world is not just for the sophisticated few, art is for everyone.

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself? It doesn’t have to be art related.

I love all kinds of music and enjoy being playful with my two little birds (kids). Spending time with my family helps to reset my body, mind and soul.