Looking Sideways - mixing art with action sports.

Posted on Tuesday 21st August, 2012 Times Viewed: 2570
While down at the Relentless Energy Drink Boardmasters Festival last weekend, we caught up with Chris Moran and John Bassett from Looking Sideways, to tell us about the project and how they’re mixing action sports with the world of art.

Words - Kaz Willmer
We even had a go at their artwork competition, and although we were nowhere near in the running for the top prizes, it was awesome to see what the Newquay crowds were coming back with, as well as checking out the art exhibition the Looking Sideways crew had set up on Fistral Beach. Artists included Matt Bromley, Ben Allen, and Phil Morgan.

For more information on Looking Sideways, check out their website and online gallery at wearelookingsideways.com. Thanks to Chris, John and Ben for taking the time to chat with us, despite the stand being super busy!

Kaz: Tell us a bit about Looking Sideways and what you are up to here.

Chris: Well, basically we’re an art gallery, and what we decided to do at this event is that we’re trying to interest kids, so we’ve brought a load of art work down which has been commissioned especially for this event, and we’ve brought some artists with us who are making some live pieces next door. This is Ben Allen and he’s made this absolutely amazing octopus piece, it’s fabulous.

What we’re also doing is we’re giving away these packs and in the bag you get blank poster and a sticker pack and we’re asking people to make a cool poster. They can use the stickers, they can add to it, they can do whatever they want and the best ones of the day win Vans shoes, the best ones of the weekend win this Vans guitar and the absolute best one is going to win a custom surf board with your artwork in it. So we’re just trying to show that with boardsports you can get creative and the easiest way is with stickers. We’re hoping that the kids will come back with drawings and that sort of stuff. And there’s been loads of it already.

Kaz: How has the response from the crowds been?

Chris: We’ve got 1000 packs to give away and in all honesty we could’ve given away 10 or 20 thousand. It’s been amazing! It’s always busy and then when we give the packs away there’s a queue to the bus. We’ve had people queuing up for an hour and a half, they just so desperately want them. Then when we give them away, the field is filled with kids, dealing with stickers, on the ground, trying to make the best poster. Every day we’re getting hundreds back. It’s been really good.

The last one we did was Wangle Tangle in Austria. It was amazing, such a different vibe, and a much older crowd. We put on a proper art show, a really fancy art show, and so it was very different... but this has been so much fun because all the kids have been so stoked. It’s been really cool to see them all get really into it.

Kaz: So what do you hope to get out of it at the end?

Chris: We’re just trying to introduce people to our online art gallery, and see that there’s a link between action sports and artists. This is for a younger crowd, and Matt Bromley for example is a skater who’s really famous for doing character based artwork, and is commissioned a lot for magazines to do very child friendly stuff. He’s a legend. We took all the different elements from all the artists we’re working with and put them in the stickers so we’re hoping to slowly introduce these kids to these artists in action sports. Everyone knows about street art and Banksy so we want to introduce people to artists who work in snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing, in the same way. We’re at the very embryonic stages, but that’s the plan.

Click to view full image

Kaz: What inspired you to do this?

Chris: It’s probably like an evil wish to control everything and earn loads of money haha!

John: We all come from a background in skating, surfing or snowboarding. We all work in other things aswell, like I run a snowboard lodge in the Alps. So we come from that world, and we’ve all grown up skateboarding, we’ve all been influenced by the graphics and the art and creative side, like the photography, the art, all the stuff that represents who we are, and so the creativity and style we have now is all built up around that. So it’s showcasing that, and letting everyone know about all these artists who have been influenced by it somehow. Matt Bromley and Phil Morgan have actually done skate graphics for example, and everyone else is somehow influenced by it, whether it’s because they did it or the graphics in the 80s influenced them.

Kaz: Do you guys have any particular favourites?

Chris & John: BEN ALLEN! (He was standing behind them!!)

Chris: He’s pretty good... a horrible guy... but his art work is pretty good (hahaha!).

John: Ben’s stuff is absolutely amazing and it’s great he’s come down.

The queues then started building up again for the next sticker pack giveaway so we left the guys to it and went off to create our own poster. Check out the picture, and don’t laugh!

Click to view full image

For more information on Looking Sideways, check out their website and online gallery at wearelookingsideways.com.
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