Rooftop Arts is an artist-led community based not-for-profit charity. Located in the heart of Corby town centre providing artist studios, exhibitions, classes, and events.
Dinah Kazakoff is a 30-year veteran practitioner in visual arts, photography, and design. Born and educated in Corby she has spent several years studying and working outside Great Britain mainly in the USA.
In the USA Dinah worked in the Public Relations and Communications Department at the world-renowned Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton NJ, as Assistant to the Public Affairs Director. An accomplished photographer her photo work was published in a number of academic and house publications at the Institute. Her portrait work of scholars such as mathematician John Nash and campus photographs has gained her a number of credits.
For several years she studied under sculptor and artist Pietro del Fabro at his studio in Princeton NJ, refining her talents in oil, acrylic, and water colour painting.
“All great art contains at its centre contemplation, a dynamic contemplation.”
Susan Sontag 1947 – 1963
In other words; at least it has been said, that there is something of stillness when experiencing Sharon’s work, a need to take your time and step inwards in order for the nuances (tones and traces of hidden text) to come through and reveal themselves. What you might experience is a work that poses more questions than answers that does not use an immediate and recognised language nor will it identify with any particular composition, yet exists beyond those ideals. The lack of vivid colour embraces the idea of contemplation whilst at the same time enhances the details within each encounter. The layers, the cracks, missing parts and rough edges are all references to Sharon’s own existence.
Sharon lives with various life-altering conditions including having undergone cardiac transplantation. This in itself causes great strain on the body bringing about its own set of physiological and emotional issues, the delicate balance between the potent drug therapy and the health of other organs and systems in the body is a tightly monitored lifelong regime. This also plays its part in having to manage a complex way of living.
With this in mind, the work Sharon produces often gives a hint of the emotional landscape, making the work very powerful and the making, very meaningful.
Studio 3 & 9
Martin is a multi-disciplinary artist, musician, and writer using both traditional and contemporary media. He likes to explore the properties, and capabilities of materials and technologies, always looking for ways to subvert or mistreat them.
He was born in Kent in 1948 and has always had a creative impulse, a need to express himself via the arts, he is influenced by Rembrandt, Picasso, Duchamp, Pollock, but mainly artists from the postwar period. His literary influences are mainly from the 20th centuary, from poets and songwriters of that era, and the present.
In recent times he has been working with pastel and inks on canvas to make both abstract and figurative work, also using found objects and clay to make 3D works. All of his output is made in response to music, to art history, and to life in general.
His music, is a kind of 21st Century Blues infused with beats, noise, and sound effects, using guitars, synthesisers, samplers, and the spoken word. His musical collaborations include, “The Godmonkey Skyhook Amalgamation”, “The Mighty Pandl”, “The Slackstring Band”, and his own is presented under the monikas “martRox”, “the Mythical DJ”.
He has had some of his poetry published in the collections put together by the Corby Collective Poets.
Warren lives and works as an artist and creative freelancer in Corby. In 2009, he received his BA Honours in Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University and has since shown work in London, Oxford and Nottingham and throughout the county.
In 2015 he held his first solo show ‘Sound Forms’ at The Rooftop Arts Centre and later that year moved into Studio 4.
Warren’s work primarily investigates the morphology of human experience through a variety of visual and aural media, resulting in synaesthetic interdisciplinary crossovers, installations and more traditional outcomes.
Amanda Drage has been drawing and painting for most of her life and is now a full-time artist living and working in Corby.
Amanda started out specialising in equine art, but her work now covers birds and all wildlife. Amanda produces paintings in oil, as well as drawings in pastel & coloured pencil, graphite, and charcoal, and is self-taught.
For the last few years, Amanda has mostly been working to commission creating portraits of pets. 2017 has seen her return to producing original paintings as she works towards her first solo exhibition, as the People’s Choice prize awarded by Northamptonshire’s Open 16 show.
Daniela R. Labos (MFA, MA) received her MFA in 2015 at the Department of Painting at the Academy of Fine Art and Design in Bratislava, Slovakia. In 2009 she received an MA as a teacher of Art and Art History at the University of Presov in Slovakia. She studied at the Department of Fine Art at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, as well.
In her art practice, Labos works with installations, drawings but primarily with paintings. The core of her artworks are themes from everyday life, from trivial situations, personal observation, or memory traces. Labos builds her paintings basically as abstract or vague environments. These environments can’t be strictly identified on the first view, they are unknown, vague. Paintings have their own roles to allure the audience closer, change the direction of view and then, paintings reveal new insight, tracks, and offer to wander between interspaces. Important is the act of the painting process and the consecutive personal necessity of participating as an accession of the physicality.
Dalena R. Labos is an active artist who regularly participates in exhibitions across the UK, in Europe, or at home in Slovakia. In Rooftop Arts Centre she leads art classes for young artists called ‘Young Creators’.
Honorata is an expressive, visual artist working in diverse range of mediums. Her journey into art is intertwined with using art therapeutically. Practising as creative therapist and artist allows her to enter richness of human experiences.
Art serves as a vehicle of journey into self as well as communication with others. Her artistic practice focuses on allowing the realm of emotions as well as transcendence experiences to influence subject matter and the way creative process can evolve. Her way of working is predominantly intuitive based on spontaneous response in the moment to what appears on the paper or canvas. The body of work consists of intuitive abstracts, drawings, expressive human figures and mixed media pieces. The impact of colour is an important element in her art, especially ability to use less traditional combinations for emphasising qualities of subject matter.
Honorata’s beloved art form is visual journaling. These second-hand text books are her visual recording of daily feelings and converted into books of expressive forms.
Honorata works as a registered creative therapist, mentor and community arts facilitator in Northamptonshire and provides group art workshops for different organisations. She is an art tutor for Adult Learning Northamptonshire.
She is a professional member of Creative Counsellors Association and Person-Centred Creative Arts Association where she delivers art sessions for therapists trying to introduce creativity in their practice. She completed post level Creative Arts Therapy and Clay Therapy Training with Bridging Creative Therapies in Cambridgeshire, Award in Teaching and Education and originally in Poland MA in Sociology from The Nicolas Copernicus University.
Donna is a poet, writer and community educator. She has worked with various community ventures in Corby for over 30 years.
Born to parents who had itchy feet Donna had an interrupted school education that started in Scotland on to Cyprus back to Scotland and ending in South Africa where she matriculated. When she returned married with a baby and settled in Corby she decided to return to her education and studied with the Open University where she achieved a BA in Education, Psychology and Art Studies.
She then worked at Pen Green Centre in Corby for 18 years and set up the Community Education Project offering a wide range of courses and qualifications to other parents and adults returning to their own learning. Further studies achieved her a teaching Certificate in Education, a Counselling Diploma as well as numerous group work, leadership and management in house training.
She has been a writer in residence at the Rooftop Arts Centre for 5 years and as part of her local community work with The Corby Collective started the Corby Collective Poets group there. Having published 3 poetry collections through Steel Box, the small publishing company set up with the rooftop artists she is currently, at last, working on her own poetry collection in her new studio 12 upstairs at The Rooftop Arts brand new wonderful space.
Margaret has a BA(Hons) Degree in 3D Design.
Margaret uses a variety of techniques and materials, in her work. She enjoys the freedom to illustrate her ideas in different ways such as pencils pastel and line printing.
Margaret is influenced by abstract art. She is inspired to use abstraction for her work.
Fanoulla studied Fine Art, Practice and Theories at The University of Derby and graduated in 1998. She then continued to complete an M.A, a certificate in education (CTLLS) and run a studio. She is an associate member of The Society of Education and Training (SET)
She has been teaching art and design, at further and higher level for almost 25 years and has exhibited her own work in galleries across the UK, including Corby, Halifax, Derby and in London’s Barbican Centre.
Fanoulla is currently running classes at Rooftop Arts and holds regular workshops, in and around the Cory and Leicester areas, which focus on communities collaborating and working together, and bringing creative arts back into schools for all ages and abilities. Public art and social issues are also important to her, with hopes and aspirations to share her creative practice in public spaces, where diversity and equality can be celebrated. She strives to nurture people’s creative potential, and watch them grow as artists.
In terms of her own practice, she is a diverse visual artist; often turning to mixed media and photography to illustrate the concepts of space, existence and vision. She focuses on detailing and observation, by breaking down her subject matter; usually a location, into layers of image, text and colour. From her perspective, everything is viewed as temporary and is a creative exploration of the world she has suddenly found herself in.
After Hornsey College of Art, Marina’s career was as a senior PA in London banking and there followed several years of working abroad with husband Steve. After settling in rural Essex she rediscovered her love of art.
Since moving to Corby in 2014 she has drawn further inspiration from her artist friends at The Rooftop.
Marina loves working with gesso and impasto on canvas, allowing happy accidents to show the way, preferring a loose style and finishing in one session. She also loves lino cutting and printing. In recent years Marina discovered i-pad art, mirroring her images to produce wild intricate designs, forming the basis of her unique Artwear range, a successful selection of colourful dresses, tops, bags and other items. They are designed by Marina on ipad and made for her as one-offs in Asia or U.S. Some are on display and for purchase in her studio at The Rooftop. There are also over 50 more of Marina’s colour designs – each available on up to 80 clothing/household products – to purchase direct at Redbubble (link below), for which she receives a small commission per sale.
Marina gained a qualification as Advanced Hypnotherapist and also in Archery, now non practicing. Her more recent hobbies are her beloved Toyota Hiace campervan ‘Arian’, Scandi Noir and other dramas and thrillers, reading, and spending time at the Rooftop.
When I left Goldsmiths in 1985 I was making installations of large hanging sculptures using sisal rope, rubber, netting, and sand exhibiting in gallery spaces. Later I decided to complete an MA in Birmingham in 1997. Still passionate about installations, I use my own hair, masks, chairs, etc. plus portraits and abstract paintings. Now I draw large drawings about how I feel concerning politics, race, religion, and inequality.
All of Ian’s paintings come from deep inside emotionally. As an Abstract Expressionist artist, Ian mainly paints what he is feeling at any given moment. While painting he could be feeling anything from happiness to sadness, frustration to playfulness, tired and in physical pain. Ian believes this gives each piece of his art individuality. With a hidden story behind every layer of paint, both seen and unseen aspects of it, all work together to breathe life and real depth into his art.
Ian paints with bold colours and tries to create a journey for the viewer, taking you around the painting giving you the opportunity to create your own story.
Ians’ paintings are not generally pre-planned, only the colours he would like to initially introduce to the piece. His technique mainly consists of using a palette knife, but will also sometimes use a roller or brush. Once the initial colours have been applied Ian will leave it for a few hours, a day or sometimes even a week. He will then approach it again, with the possibility of his feelings being in a different place and add another perspective to his work. With this approach Ian will be working on multiple artworks at different stages of thought process.