Haroshi: Pain exhibition, StolenSpace, London

Photos: © Zac Crossfire. Contact us for permission to use them elsewhere.

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As skateboarders we all know that we have to pay to play. From an early age of pushing down the street, hopping off curbs and learning how to ollie, Pain is something that we universally understand as an end result of wrong doing. Japanese artist Haroshi has shipped his own pain to London this week, showcasing his personal affliction and questioning what pain is within a stunning selection of new exhibition pieces featured exclusively at the StolenSpace gallery in East London.

Haroshi’s trademark art recycles skateboard decks in intricate form. Each sculpture is made from tiny mosaic pieces of deck ply that are cut with a Japanese carving knife, glued together and heavily polished to form exquisite end products. Some take a few weeks to complete, others take up to 4 months depending on the various concaves needed to perfect each structure, but once they are prepped, the artist inserts a piece of metal inside each object to give them a distinct sense of life acting as a soul, only visible via x-rays.

His self-taught ways of cutting old decks into incredible art pieces have handed him worldwide recognition over the last decade. His incredible workmanship has attracted collectors worldwide who exchange thousands of dollars to own his work and by the time we had arrived to this show on Saturday, only one remaining sculpture awaited a lucky new owner.

From the smaller broken finger pieces to the monstrous A Vulture Waits For The Dead montage at the head of the gallery, seeing ‘Pain’ in the flesh is simply mind blowing and highly recommended. This gallery feature is for the many skaters around the UK that are unable to travel to London to see this exhibition for themselves. If you are nearby, witness it for yourself before the show ends on the 3rd November at StolenSpace gallery on 17 Osborn Street, London, E1 6TD.

Get down there and take this in, you will not regret it.

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Save Southbank Weekend

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The bank holiday weekend of May 2013 will always be remembered as Save Southbank’s due to the phenomenal effort involved to keep the flame alive. This came from locals who worked tirelessly to organise the event, the many skaters that have spent hours sessioning the banks there over the last 40 years and passers-by showing their support for our scene at the Undercroft throughout this three day session.

If for some unique reason you have missed what is going on, catch up with the relocation plans that skateboarders have been proposed here and then catch up on a Q&A session with the answers here. In a nut shell, skateboarders feel short changed by the the fact that the skatepark will be knocked down to make way for more retail units due to a huge investment into rebuilding the area in 2014. It is clear that the Southbank Centre look to cash in on what is definitely a prime location which means relocating skateboarders to a new spot under the Hungerford Bridge.

This event to highlight this news was graced by the sun’s rays beaming across the Thames whilst the stereo pumped out tunes to a game of S.K.A.T.E. All heads were held high and most importantly, everyone was there for each other from all sides of the scene. Chewy Cannon was one of many who dedicated a lot of time into the organisation of the weekend. His arms are probably no longer functioning after 72 hours of holding that huge megaphone, but he also found time to douse the new blocks that Chris Oliver and friends had spent time building with his switch skills whilst hitting every wall in sight. These blocks were sessioned hard all weekend by many as you will see in the gallery shots below, and are now added to the many other creatively built objects that have changed the landscape down there allowing new tricks to enter the history books.

This feature is short and for those who live too far away to be present in such an important movement for British skateboarding. If you managed to make time in your busy schedule to put a face in the door this weekend, then our hats are off to you. If you didn’t, take in what you missed and thank the people involved for getting to the heart of the matter and doing something positive, rather than watching it all from Facebook or writing negative blog posts on why people should give up the fight and just take it on the chin.

This is phase one. Do your bit and let everyone know that skateboarders would like their home to stay exactly where it is. We do not need another burger or coffee joint at the Southbank, we don’t need another concrete skatepark built in a new location either, we would just like to take SB back to its roots, clean it up and protect its incredible history. Hopefully, someone, somewhere will one day realise that this shared space means so much to so many people and that the magic created here will never be replicated anywhere else.

Have your say by completing this short survey that conveniently doesn’t mention skateboarders. Over 27,000 signatures had been logged by Saturday afternoon, share/like this feature and ask friends to get involved.

Big thanks to all involved in running this event all weekend, Dan Joyce who filmed these clips below, Session Noisses on the beats, and Gorm (B&W) and Maksim Kalanep for the use of their photos here alongside some of our own.

Visit www.longlivesouthbank.com for all info.

Zac

Enjoy some skating and an overview from Saturday’s event:

Henry Edwards-Wood discusses how this all came together in this short interview shot on Saturday:

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New skatepark underway in Hayes

Many moons back, there used to be an indoor skatepark in a warehouse in Hayes. It had a small vert ramp, a street section and a memorable mini ramp with a really odd coping design that was fun to skate. Here in 2013, Hayes in Middlesex will welcome a brand new outdoor 750m sq park designed by Wheelscape and built by Blakedown based at Hayes Hawks on Lake Farm Country Park, Dawley Road.

Hillingdon Community Trust has committed £50,000 to the project, and Hillingdon Council will contribute £130,000. The Friends of Lake Farm and Hayes Hawks have also been heavily involved. Have a look at what is being built right now here and look out for opening day details soon.

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New Cirencester Skatepark incoming

Skaters around the edges of the Cotswolds area of Great Britain will be delivered a brand new 890 sq metre plaza this summer. Kingshill Sports Ground in Cirencester has been awarded the facility after securing a grant from the Sport England Inspired Fund. We spoke to park designer Marc Churchill from 1Skateparks last night to give us an insight into how this all came together:

“We’re really stoked to be starting work on the Cirencester project. It’s been a long time coming, we’ve been working with the Cirencester Council and Decimal Skate shop really closely tweaking back and forth the design until it was exactly what everyone wanted.

There were in total 3 consultations and 5 revisions with Gaz and the crew at Decimal, but those guys knew what they wanted – a rad Plaza! Work begins really soon so it should be ready for shredding by the summer.”

For updates and info check out the Decimal and 1skateparks Facebook pages.

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The Level build update with photos from Brighton

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The good folk at Freestyle Skateparks are up to their knees in mud (and snow) this week whilst the concrete is pouring on the all-new Level park in Brighton. No transitions have been sprayed yet so it’s still very much a building site, but here are some images for you to have a look over including the latest update of the visual with the central ‘spine’ of the bowl rolled over and a 30ft half pipe.

I think that you will agree that she is looking mighty fine.

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Oxford Wheels Project bans Scooters from new park

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Maybe this could well be a first for all new skatepark builds, maybe this is a one off. Who knows, but right now, Oxford’s skaters will be celebrating the fact that they will not have to run the risk of injuring themselves with scooter kids rolling around everywhere now a ban has been enforced in their new park when it opens.

OWP appreciate that scooter riders are the next generation of skater and BMXers and we may one day eat our words but for the success of this unique facility the management committee have decided to ban the use of scooters. This we believe will ensure maximum fair usage of the facility and safeyy of park users. Bare in mind – people are not banned from this park we have built. Just scooters. If you want to ride a board or a bike you are welcome.”

Visit the Oxford Skate Project for updates on the new build underway by Wheelscape that is situated at Meadow Lane, Oxford, Oxfordshire, OX4 4BJ. It’s not finished yet so look out for updates on the opening date when it is announced.

Metallica vs Vans collab shoes

Skateboards and metal are certainly the flavour of the 80’s but the fad still rolls and the classics still appeal to many. This week Metallica’s members have all designed and released a collab shoe on Vans following their classic ‘Kill ‘Em All’ half cab last year, again in celebration of their milestone sussecc of their epic debut album.

Bass player Robert Trujillo chose to add his own take on the Escuela shoe with an Aztec design, James Hetfield picked a Sk8-Hi and added his own skull and crossbones, drummer Lars Ulrich has an Era Laceless with added twill/diamond pattern from his snare drum, and guitarist Kirk Hammett has rolled out a hemp based Slip-On that features a Ouija guitar pick in the heel.

These should be available this month.

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Maverick unleash new Winchester Skatepark design

It looks like the area of Hampshire is to receive more treats from the concrete designers of Maverick this year following the unleashing of this new design for a new park in Winchester overnight. Exact details will follow but for now this looks like it will be a really good addition and we are loving the brick wall and the rock on the top of the hip.

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Crossfire Xmas Jam 2012 results

Ph: Thomas Harrison ollies high to take the HUF jam.

Tomharrison_crossfirexmasjam2012What a day. The weather held, the atmosphere at BaySixty6 was electric and the people that mattered most traveled long distances to witness what went down at this year’s 10th Anniversary Xmas Jam event. It was absolutely amazing.

The level of skating was upped. All of the individual best trick jams were rife with NBD’s as predicted. The unsponsored comps seriously impressed.

The DGK video premiere worked a treat following the onslaught of skateboarding, so this day will be one that we never forget. HUGE thanks to the Bay staff, all of our filmers and photographers plus all who made the effort to be there. We are talking about everyone who traveled distances including so many UK pro teams and shops and didn’t just sit at home waiting for footage to drop. Those who repped know that you will never replace the energy that we witnessed on the internet. You cannot beat it live.

We are working on footage and gallery photos today and will drop a full feature as soon as we can. In the meantime here are the results. Look out for more visual treats rolling through our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Big thanks to all of our sponsors Ricta Wheels, DGK, Superdead Skateboards, Grizzly Griptape, HUF, Slam City, and Stand Up Skate Shop who helped form this event and celebrated 10 years of good times.

UNSPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

Tomas Monkevičius – Kickflip FS board slide on the small rail.

Nai Sukanant – Switch Hardflip on the small stair set.

Gytis Bluivas: Switch bigspin heelflip down the small stair set.

Craig Loveless: Nollie hardflip down the small stair set.

Alex Tibble: Switch fs flip over the small gap.

SPONSORED BEST TRICK JAMS:

RICTA BOWL JAM:

Best Hip Trick: Greg Nowik: FS late shuv and many more.

Longest Gring: ‘Chav’ Dan Hill.

Best tricks out of the bowl/transfer: Joe Habgood – FS nosepick on the outer wall/ FS 180 to nosestall and backside 180 to rock fakie into the barrier out of the bowl.

DGK HUBBA JAM: Gytis Bluivas – Crook nollie flip out.

HUF HIGH OLLIE JAM (driveway): Thomas Harrison (6 boxes).

SUPERDEAD GAP JAM: Split winners – Daryl Dominguez – 2 x kickflips, heelflip. Ewen Bower – FS Ollie revert, FS Stalefish revert, Benihana.

GRIZZLY GRIP TAPE LEDGE JAM: Thomas Harrison – FS tailslide fs 270 shuv out, in and out of ledge.

WALLRIDE JAM: Jed Cullen – Blunt fakie, Pivot fakie, fakie rock (on high section).

RAIL JAM: Luke Kindon – Crook to back lip slide.

STAIR SESH: Charlie Birch – FS Bigspin.

It was very difficult judging the winners on the day so there will be many honorable mentions in the main feature as it was tough to judge due to the amount of amazing stuff that went down. Look out for that soon and until then, take in these photos from Tom Halliday.

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Gytis Bluivas ripped hard and killed the DGK Hubba and small stair set. Someone sponsor him please.

Witchcraft’s Joe Habgood ripped all day long, spotted here in the backside disaster pose with an upcoming ripper.

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Ewen Bower completes a hat trick over the Superdead Gap with a floating Benihana. Pisstaker.

More soon.

Deaf Havana Live at Shepherd’s Bush

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Sherperd’s Bush o2 Academy, London
15th November 2012

Shepherds Bush Empire was the venue for Deaf Havana’s biggest headline show to date. Selling out five days before the show, this was shaping up to be quite spectacular, and in no means did the night disappoint.

There for Tomorrow, forming in 2003, have established themselves as a major act on the rock circuit in the US, playing all the dates on the 2011 Vans Warped tour and releasing two full-length studio albums. Having headlined the Garage in London in November 2010 with support coming from Deaf Havana, it was clear from the start that the quartet had some fans around the venue with various screams and dancing, an overall solid performance.

Next up were main support Canterbury. After gaining a major fan base after releasing their debut album, ‘Thank You’ as a free download in 2009, they returned in 2012 with their much anticipated follow up studio album ‘Heavy in the Day’. Playing songs from both albums, including ‘Wrapped in Rainbows’, ‘Survivor’ & ‘Gloria’, at the end of which front man Mike Sparks thanked the crowd for their constant support of both themselves and more importantly the British Rock scene, which he then went onto say was booming which was apparent from tonight’s British acts. Finishing off their set with ‘Friends? We’re More Like A Gang’, Canterbury continue to show why their ones to watch in 2013.

A year on from releasing their album ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’, Deaf Havana are playing their biggest headline show since forming in 2005. Albeit with some technical issues early on, and starting their set with an alternative, slower version of ‘Youth In Retrospect’, it wasn’t long before they sent the sold out crowd into frenzy. Having the option to play material off both their original and deluxe edition, it was anyone’s guess as to which versions of the songs they were going to be played. A song that stood out to me on both versions of the albums was ‘Anemophobia’, tonight they showed how diverse they were as a band both live and recorded as they started the song off on a piano like that of the alternative version and then kicked in as the whole band to finish it off.

During their set it was clear to see how overwhelming the night was to James Veck Gilodi and his fellow bandmates. They used the platform to announce that they will be supporting fellow Brits You me at Six at their Wembley show that was met by a lot of screams from the crowd. Coming on for an encore, they were joined by eight members of the London Youth Gospel Choir to do renditions of their three songs ‘The World or Nothing’, ‘Fifty Four’ and Finished off with ‘Hunstanton Pier’.

This show will stick in the minds of the band and fans alike for quite sometime, and tonight has been a clear reminder that Great Britain have got one of the finest rock scenes, which Deaf Havana will keep climbing.

Words & Photos: Tim Easton

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