Shaun Gladwell's Top 5 Skateboarding x Art Collisions

Shaun Gladwell's Top 5 Skateboarding x Art Collisions

Visual artist/skater Shaun Gladwell shares his influences ahead of Art + Motion at Perth Festival.

Over the past few decades, Albany’s gnarly downhill skate park, The Snake Run (the world’s oldest community-funded skate park still in operation), has become a destination for skaters around the world, as well as an official inclusion on the WA Heritage List. In 1976 a group of kids raised the funds and garnered the council support needed to build the park - these teenagers designed it and even pitched in to help construction (see: covershot above). The park recently celebrated its 40th anniversary, where some of the original crew who built the park were reunited with American skate champion Russ Howell, who helped open the park - you can read all about its history in this great piece by the Guardian here.

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Recreation officer for Albany Tony Davis (right) shows John Graham (left), Director of the Community Recreation Council a model of a skateboard track in 1975.

While he's in Perth, Howell will talk as part of a special event at Perth Festival on Tue Feb 16, to commemorate the park's 40th anniversary, Art + Motion. Over one evening, at the Astor Theatre, Howell will go into discussion with visual artist/skater Shaun Gladwell - the two will delve into the mechanics, evolutions and joy of riding a skateboard, with their talk visualised with original footage from Howell's time skating the Snake Run in Albany in the 1970s, and soundtracked by RTRFM Full Frequency stalwart / Perth DJ Rok Riley. And the best part is, it's completely free! Entry can be guaranteed by booking a free ticket here. Entry will also be available at the venue on the night.

Gladwell, whose hypnotic and poetic work often combines sport and art, shares with Pilerats a few of his favourite visual artists / art moments pertaining to skateboarding culture, and shares a few photos. Over to you, Shaun:


The paintings of Mark Gonzales. Mark is one of the most creative skaters to have ever picked up a board. And the same goes for Mark's entire life. His graphics, zines and paintings are brilliant. Here's an example of some of his grip tape art:



The Slow Motion Rodney Mulllen sequence in the Bones Brigade video titled Future Primitive from the mid '80s. It was pure art for me. The most technical skateboarder in the world shown in the most creative possible way.

Rodney Mullen


The photos of Ed Templeton. He is the man with a camera who reveals Huntington Beach Pier and the weirdness of humankind.

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A South Korean artist that has designed and made a glow-in-the-dark skate park as an artwork. It's been installed in many locations throughout the world and its incredible. The concrete is cast with an agent that makes it glow at night, perfect for skaters who can't stop once the subs gone down.



Pretty much any skateboarder's grip tape in the 1980s had some personal graphic or message written with paint pens. The skateboarder could write or draw anything from a cartoon to a quote from a philosopher or both! I also love any DIY skateboard graphics. I meet one skater in Vancouver Canada who had written on his board 'this machine kills fascists' just like Woody Guthrie would once write on his guitar.


Photo of Jesus Esteban’s broken board after Gladwell's video shoot Skateboarding vs. Minimalism:

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A still from Gladwell's video's Pataphysical Man (2005):


MMV Breakless Canberra. Photo: Josh Raymond:

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Self Portrait, Spinning, Paris. Photo: Josh Raymond:

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Untitled Bondi Kickflip. Photo Dean Tirkot:


Perth Festival pres. Art & Motion at Astor Theatre on 16 February.

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