“Future Primitive” is a collection of sculptures of skateboards. The name is taken from the seminal „Bones Brigade? skateboard film from 1985 produced and released by skateboard company Powell Peralta. These „Bones Brigade? films, and others like them, which capitalised on the popularity of home video in the eighties, not only showcased some of the most talented young skateboarders (who went on to become the first „rock stars? of skateboard culture) in action but also helped to establish the scene for skateboarding and the identity for skateboarders.
Through films like these and the publication of numerous magazines in the eighties, skateboarding was introduced to young people worldwide and became more than a fad and entrenched itself as a subculture with great influence eventually producing a large number of very talented, successful and wealthy people – not just skateboarders but also businesspeople, photographers, film makers, publishers, designers and artists.
I was one of the many young people inspired by skateboarding and I loved it. I believe being a part of this subculture was one of the most important factors in me becoming who I am – I even owned and ran my own skateboard shop at the age of sixteen. I also believe it was skateboarding that taught me patience, how to express myself in a nonverbal way and how to think creatively, which eventually lead to the desire to make art (as it also must have done for a number of other skateboarders who have gone on to have successful art careers).
I have chosen to pay homage to skateboarding and skateboard culture by creating a series of skateboard sculptures. The skateboards are faithfully recreated from scratch at one and a half times the size of a modern street style board using a purpose built DIY version of a commercial skateboard press. Themes of identity, consumerism and design are referenced in the visual elements (skateboard graphics), whilst the capabilities and properties of the all-important materials used to produce a skateboard – wood, resins and plastics are explored.
As the artworks are sculptures and not actual functioning skateboards and will never be ridden, techniques and materials that could not ordinarily be used in skateboard production such as cast acrylic sheet, fibre flocking, automotive paint finishes and mirror have been used to accentuate the three dimensional quality of the object.
Hopefully my sculptures serve as a respectful homage to the fantastically designed object that is a skateboard.
Read essay by Sydney based writer, Prue Gibson, by clicking below.