Conclave opened up their doors last Friday for a nine-day event called ‘Deck The Halls’. The owners of the Queen’s Road gallery (two doors down from the Hope & Ruin) admit the title is “terribly punny”, but reckon it was too good an opportunity to be missed. In any case, they’ve called it “a totally non-Christmassy Christmas show (for people who’ve had enough of that nonsense)”.
At the centre of a lively programme of community events is an art exhibition featuring 20 artists showing their original artworks created on skateboard decks. A multitude of approaches have been taken to working creatively directly onto the decks from painting and drawing, to screen-printing, carving, 3D modelling, collage, and – of course – the odd bit of spray paint. Local favourites such as Phil Lawson, Cassette Lord, Michelle Mildenhall, Mypenleaks and Dave Pop! feature in the show among others.
Community-focused events have been held during the week which acknowledged skateboarding as an enduring urban sport that celebrates both collectiveness and individualism; a community activity open to all, where creativity and enthusiasm are applauded as much as skill. It’s all about getting involved, and with this in mind, the gallery have welcomed a number of hands-on workshop events hosted by local artists where everyone can get stuck in (without the risk of a broken ankle!).
Twydall P, a local analogue collage artist, ran a vintage collage workshop guiding participants through the process of selecting and layering intriguing, and at times intricate, collage techniques directly onto the surface of the boards. This was swiftly followed up by Fluoro Doodle-Decks, ran by popular, fun, colourful, psychedelic and subversive pop artist Barrie J Davies. Participants had the chance to try their hand at drawing, painting and spray-painting their decks.
Reaching further into the local younger community, the gallery hosted award-winning inclusive arts practitioner, Sarah Gillings (aka S.O.S Street Art) for a half-day workshop for children and young people. It provided a unique opportunity for under 16s to get involved in a hands-on workshop involving spray-paint and mixed media to create their very own piece of skate deck art.
The celebration continues tonight with a free film screening of Stacey Peralta’s 2001 documentary film, Dogtown and Z-Boys. Be sure not to miss this set to be popular event by bagging your free ticket here. The bar will be open and of course you can peruse the many approaches to skateboard deck art at your leisure before and after the film. A wonderful way to spend a very frosty Friday evening. You can even complete your Christmas shopping and go home with some wonderful, unique, local gifts for your loved ones. This exhibition closes on Sunday 11th December at 5pm so if urban art is your thing, be sure to go and check it out.