RIPPER, a new exhibition exploring skateboarding subcultures launches tonight at Parlour Skate Store, Shoreditch. Curated by Project Upcoming's Sadie Bailey, the show boasts an impressive line up of global contributors - including photographers and TRIP favourites, Brandon Wilkins, Reid Allen and Ollie Murphy – whose candid captures depict serendipitous moments of everyday skating.
Here, we caught up with Bailey as she prepares for tonight's launch to find out more about RIPPER.
TRIP: Hi Sadie. Tell us about Project Upcoming.
Sadie Bailey: For two years I've been working with the concept of Project Upcoming, trying to provide a platform for artists to get their work seen and appreciated. We've produced collaborative zines, published other people's zines and been involved in great projects and events (such as Grrrl Zine Fair), but I found myself wanting to go bigger and better.
TRIP: RIPPER launches this evening. How did the exhibition come about and what are you looking to explore through it?
Sadie Bailey: I've previously described the exhibition as "celebrating the beauty of imperfections", but that might just be a way of slyly informing every one about how shit my work is in advance... you never know.
With RIPPER, I've tried to steer well away from your traditional art show. I've scrapped the frames and opted out of high quality prints. A bold move, especially when you have the responsibility of showcasing work on behalf of other artists.
I sat down and thought about what kind of show I'd be happy to go to. By stripping the artwork back to its original form you're forced to appreciate the raw beauty of it rather than the presentation. Most of the photography, if not all of it, has been shot on film, which already has that rough and ready aspect that I'm trying convey.
TRIP: You are presenting the work in a large-scale wheat-paste collage. Why did you opt for this set-up?
Sadie Bailey: I have to give credit to both Anna-Marie Solowij and my Uncle Will here. After discussing my thoughts and worries with them it became clear that making a wheat-paste collage, rather than hanging up framed, glossy prints would be a cooler and more cost-efficient way of showcasing the work.
TRIP: Was Parlour a natural choice for a location for the show? Has exhibiting here impacted up on the type of work you’ll be showing?
Sadie Bailey: In a way, yes. It helped me stay more focused in terms of the content, but I knew that it was going to be skate-orientated before I had started curating it. It was inevitable. Everyone I know, and have every really known, skates. When I was 7, my school (Wonderland Ave. represent) put on an after school club where you'd design and build your own skateboard and from there the love never died. My best friend and I used to have matching Tony Hawk t-shirts. We were pretty cool.
TRIP: Which artists are contributing to the exhibition? How did you go about selecting them?
Sadie Bailey: It's an odd one. I've pulled work from both ends of the spectrum here. Half of the artists showcased are really good friends of mine, some of whom I've literally spent days driving between countries with, and the others are artists I've only ever seen on Instagram and live on the opposite side of the world.
We've got work from the likes of Daniel Martin, who just put on his first solo show, “We Don't Get Along" in Perth. Rafael Gonzalez who's at it literally 24/7. Hands down one of most passionate, inspirational photographers I know. Every time I see something from him it's incredible. He's in the midst of starting up Intêrstate Magazine, a skateboarding culture and visual arts mag. Super stoked for that. We've also got illustration work from Harry Wyld, who never fails to produce incredible content regardless of how many broken wrists he may have...
Honestly, the talent levels in this show are ridiculous. I've somehow managed to group together the best of the best and persuaded them to let me represent their work. They've all been crazy supportive and super down for the collaborative aspect.
TRIP: What else can we expect to see at the show?
Sadie Bailey: Well... you'll just have to stop by and find that out for yourself!
RIPPER launches tonight from 8pm at Parlour Skate Store (59 Hackney Rd, E2 7NX) and runs until 30th March. Free admission.