Pogus Caesar was born in St Kitts, West Indies and moved to Sparkbrook in Birmingham. At a young age art was his creative release, and he found his inspiration in the work of Georges Seurat, the French pointillist painter, who created pictures using dots, "I couldn't afford brushes so I used fountain pens instead."
He began to sell his work in Birmingham's Rag Market and within a few years was exhibiting in major galleries like Leicester Museum and Art Gallery and the National Museum of Film and Photography, Bradford. His work also became part of many public and private collections, "HRH The Princess of Wales came to my studio and I was asked to present one of my paintings to her, that was a defining moment in my career".
His dedication to art progressed into photography and he has photographed, amongst others, Stevie Wonder, Julie Christie, Desmond Tutu and the late R'n'B singer Aaliyah.
In 1984, Pogus was approached by Channel 4 and asked to work on their multicultural show 'Black on Black'. Since then, he has produced and directed multicultural programmes for the major terrestrial channels, featuring such stars as Lennox Lewis, Jada Pinkett-Smith, Isaac Hayes and Aaliyah, "These people have had a profound influence on me, the majority of them come from working class backgrounds and have achieved against the odds".
In 1993, Pogus set up his own production company, Windrush Productions. He produced and directed 'Xpress', an entertainment series, 'An Eye On X', about the life of micro sculptor Willard Wiggan and 'Respect' a series of documentaries on the lives of sports personalities (Carlton TV). He was also senior producer/director of 'A-Force' (BBC TV). He then went on to become series editor and presenter of the show 'Drumbeat' (Carlton TV).
Since then Windrush Productions has produced numerous programmes, with subjects ranging from race, history, art and music. 'Reflections', a film documenting the lives of West Indians in Birmingham in the 40s and 50s and 'The Way Forward', a film made to inspire young black people in education, 'it's very important that there are role models that we can all aspire to'.
He has also lectured in his field of expertise, media and communications, at the University of Birmingham. Pogus' work extends to motivational speaking and he is a lively and popular compere for many national events.
Pogus has appeared in BBC dramas including regular parts in 'Casualty' and 'Dalziel and Pascoe'. He also presented his own radio show 'Off the Hook' and 'The Windrush E. Smith' for BBC Radio WM.
The Library of Birmingham holds 100 of his photographs and has created an archive dedicated to his life's work.
Windrush Productions/OOM have provided extensive archive photographs for 'The Digital Handsworth Project ' an online record of Handsworth's history.
"We had great success in touring our first film 'Forward Ever-Backward Never' commissioned in 2002 by Artangel/Bloomberg. Set in 19th century Cuba, it tells the gripping tale of young slaves who become involved in escape, infidelity and eventually tragedy. Following a hugely successful premiere at the Lumiere Theatre, London 'Forward Ever-Backward Never ' was screened at selected cinemas throughout Great Britain."
In recognition of his contributions to multiculturalism in Britain, Pogus has been featured in a book of black achievers, 'Black Portraits' by Jaqui McDonald (Life Time Careers, Wiltshire), which also includes pieces on Lenny Henry and Paul Boateng MP.
'Birmingham is evolving into a real visionary centre for cultural diversity, and I am enjoying contributing towards this exciting development through the work of Windrush Productions and OOM'.
Images are available for sale or licensing from the OOM Gallery UK.
Tel: + (44) 121 449 6439
Photographs: Copyright Pogus Caesar. All Rights Reserved.
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The Pogus Caesar/OOM Gallery Archive
Pogus Caesar The Gallery
Black History in Birmingham Libraries
Websites relating to Black History and Culture