WHATEVER IT TAKES – web gallery
Our Whatever It Takes skateboards were created in 2012 as part of a competition for a Cornish skateboard design.
The competition was driven and inspired by professional skateboarder Nick Jensen and his belief that art and skating are closely linked.
He painted a board for the exhibition himself and invited fellow professionals, illustrators and artists to create work, too. These included: Fos (Mark Foster) – Rob Mathieson – Oliver Dorman – Soy Panday – Vaughan Baker – Frances Costelloe.
Here’s a gallery of a few of them…. ( and for a snapshot of Nick’s own board, click here.) Nick’s board eventually went on display at the Royal Cornwall Museum. We ran a second competition in 2016, which was won by local artist Max Whetter. Click here to find out more.
Oliver Dorman took an ad of a professional skateboarder as the starting point for his oil painting.
He then adapted the faces of two kids in the foreground, one of which takes on the form Edward Munch’s famous portrait ‘The Scream’ and the other; Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘The Mona Lisa’.
Rob Mathieson sanded back into the skateboard to reveal its natural qualities, and this is a reflection on the traditional qualities in life that are important not to forget. For example, fishing: he has depicted a fisherman using his nets to catch crabs.
“I like the way the smoothness of the form and surfaces of her sculpture complement and play with the wild nature and beauty of the Cornish landscape. This is what I have tried to convey with my board.”
Frances Costelloe: “When thinking about Cornwall I instantly thought of the wonderful Tate in St Ives and the artists who had made the region their home. Barbara Hepworth’s garden is open to the public and available to view online in a virtual tour on the Tate website, which is the only time I have ever seen it. “
Board by artist Frances Costelloe
Oliver Dorman’s skateboard
Rob says that when he went to Cornwall as a kid he remembered how much fun it was to try and catch crabs himself but that they always seemed to win.
Rob Mathieson is a freelance illustrator for various skateboard companies.
Soy Panday: “I draw animals as a caricature of mankind and man’s self-claimed superiority over animals. I’ve drawn a bird because it symbolizes freedom, and the drawing is about freedom of thought. The geometric form shows the visual language of mathematic, which is itself the universal language of science… Overall, the drawing means humans have access to scientific knowledge, but few use it to fully analyze… just like the bird doesn’t acknowledge the geometric form’s presence…”
Local artist Pete Kirby: “Beyond the obvious comparisons with ‘fakie’, a simple skate manoeuvre and ‘f****r’, a sardonic term of affection, Fakir is a statement about the challenges facing young people in Cornwall in C21st. It represents the paradox of pain and pleasure into adulthood, a ‘bed of nails’ on which to be a whirling dervish on a skateboard.”
“The nails marginally protrude like several hundred tattooist needles branding the skin of the rider, another delicate collision of self-identity v self-harm. Traditionally, a fakir chose a physical path of development in a quest for transcendental joy. “
“In this case, it forms the back story to an 18 year old I met three years ago who, without parental or peer pressure, chose to become a Muslim. This decision to do something radical in order to change his outlook on life feels both desperate and inspired in equal measures, something only that boy will ever know.“