ROGER HOPGOOD           WORK TEXT BIOG   CONTACT
                       
 
The use of the gas station as a symbol of freedom is easily found in Hollywood cinema but a more unusual treatment of the filling station is found in Shell's television advertising campaign of the 1950s where the poet John Betjeman spoke of the pleasures of exploring the British countryside with the aid of Shell's network of filling stations.
This body of work is part of an ongoing project based around the dead zones in the cell phone network. The aim is to provide a survey of the 'remoter' regions of the English landscape at the end of the 3G era - shortly before 4G technology begins to pave the way towards full signal coverage.
In this project the 3G network is used to broadcast live from the edge of the dead zones. Battery packs are used to power a webcam and portable router, and a signal booster is used to maximise the 3G signal. At the edge of the dead zone signal strength is low and the broadcast reduced to less than one frame per second.
And Then There Were None forms part of an ongoing investigation of the picturesque.  In the series vantage point is explored as an integral element of the picturesque effect with the English country house being recognised as a defining space of social and physical elevation.
In the Climbing Frames series there is a suggestion of the rural environment being invaded by structures from the inner city. The climbing frames, each shaped as a form of transport, are rusting and antiquated and seem slightly at odds with their countryside setting.
Boot sale bric-a-brac, viewed in an anthropological way, seems to reveal a lot about the culture from which it stems. Continuing in this vein, one could also say the same of the boot sale ritual itself - often amounting to a curious engagement with the landscape.
The heads in these images are wall plaque ornaments manufactured by Bossons Ltd. in the 1960s and 70s. Bossons produced an extensive range of ethnic and national types such as 'Kurd' and 'Syrian'. These were mass-produced chalkware but were finely detailed and remain popular as inexpensive collectables.
The organization of elements into regular, self-contained or predictable formations is a way of imposing order on experience. Diverse and divergent events can in this way be located within a matrix of rational order whereby a coherent, autonomous form is felt to incorporate all relevant phenomena. 
This 16mm film project draws inspiration from Daniel Dafoe’s Robinson Crusoe. Crusoe’s time on a desert island has prompted much reflection on the way in which the wilderness is tamed through the castaway’s ingenuity and his imposition of imported cultural practices.
The structures in this series are associated with detection. The radars and telescopes in the work look out from their rural location. The notion of an escape to the countryside is always at odds with a desire to keep some distance, to maintain an ability to objectify and see the non-urban from a subjective vantage point. As landscapes, these images offer some resistance to this.
During the ‘Swing Riots’ of 1830, rural labourers attacked the homes of farmers who had begun to use threshing machines; their fear for their livelihoods having already been exacerbated by Enclosure, which dispossessed them of common land. Shots of common land are overlaid with text taken from articles in the Times newspaper (1830) describing riotous behaviour in nearby locations. In exhibition, these images are presented alongside iamges of cell phone masts as way of introducing the notion of shared and enclosed space in the internet age.

 

 

 

The Wye Valley has a close association with picturesque landscape, both for its status as an AONB (area of outstanding natural beauty) and for its close association with Romanticism and the Picturesque movement. In this work I have appropriated estate agents’ images of property for sale in the Wye Valley described as having ‘stunning views.’