Grip Thumb 4 – LAB Brighton @ Pop-up Brighton
by Alice Beesley
Last night I attended the opening of the ‘Grip Thumb 4’ exhibition, a showcase of 30 artists work on the grip-tape side of skateboards, hosted at the new permanent ‘Pop-up Brighton’ and ‘LAB’ space at the arches.
The artwork was impressive and true to the nature of skate art - from colourful doodlings to rich illustrative work, with some based in graffiti and others in ironic rhetoric, all rooted with the skate and street art genre. Each individual piece was totally different in style with some becoming three-dimensional and others using various materials, but each piece remained unified in their shape, creating a constant throughout the exhibit. It was especially interesting to see how 30 different artists, each with a different style, interpret and express themselves using a known, popular and I assume an everyday object for them.
Al Hodgson of OWL Skateboards is one of the co-creators of the Grip Thumb exhibitions, he told me a bit about how Grip Thumb came about:
“We started Grip Thumb in 2014 in Brighton, we were then invited to do it in London the next year, and last year we hosted Grip Thumb in Bristol, but for 2017 we’ve decided to bring it back to Brighton. A lot of our artists are from Bristol and Brighton but we do have some over-seas artists from America and Canada such as Christian Steerey and Sebo Walker.”
My personal favourite works were that of Eliose Dorr and her odd, vintage Disney style characters; Sunny Thompson’s creepy in depth illustrative yet minimal piece of eyes and teeth across the deck; and finally Al Hodgsons old school VHS tape stack. In fact I truly enjoyed all of the art work and the diversity in style and I believe there is definitely something for everyone to see here.
If you’re not sure what to do this weekend, I definitely recommend you go and check out this exhibit before Grip Thumb 4 finishes on Monday!