Humble.webp

TNC ARCHIVE 2016
ART INTERVIEW

BEN GREGOR
HUMBLE & EPIC
humbleandepic.com
10% of sales profits will go to Skateistan.

HUMBLE & EPIC is a tribute to the steadfastness of inspiration, love and friendship in a fractured and passing world of modern love. Using 65 maple wood skateboards as his canvas, Gregor has laser etched each board with the names of his closest friends, family, and heroes. Solid, three dimensional and practical, each board is meaningful and unique. Each board’s individuality is reflected also in the unique markings and patterns of the maple wood.

 

Hi Ben, thanks for talking to The New Current, how's it going?

 

Very good thanks, maybe a little scary.

 

Your new exhibition opens this week, any nerves setting in?

 

Yeah. I'm used to having 60 people around me when I make something. This is terrifying. There's just me and Alice. 

 

What does it mean for you to be be able to bring Humble & Epic to Herrick Gallery?

 

It's great. Alice has really committed to making sure it hits hard. 

 

Tell me a little bit about Humble & Epic, how did it all come about?

 

I bought a load of furniture from Unto this Last on Brick lane. The smell of it made me think of skateboards. And I'd been lying in bed in an alien flat, listing people who I had, people who'd work I loved or who I loved or who had been part of building me. Suddenly I wanted to turn them all pro. Sponsor them back. Sponsor my sponsors. So I did. 

This is a very personal exhibition for you, was has it meant for you to be able to pay this type of tribute to the people who have inspired you?

 

I did it without thinking and to be confronted with it all up on the walls and upon my face is kind of overpowering. But what I'm most excited about is that it transmits to people...who aren't me. You don't have to be me to enjoy it. Thank goodness. You don't want to be me. 

 

What inspired you to use maple wood skateboards as your canvas? 

 

I'm a skater, always have been. Always will be. So the vocabulary of the industry is familiar. Turning pro, getting your own board is the biggest moment. And....well they're respectable. Skateboards. Put it this way, Jello Biafra has a board. Imagine giving him something else, like a ribbon? Hey, Jello here's your special ribbon! I don't think so. 

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'They just felt love for the project.'

How did it feel seeing it all come together? 

 

It's just such a privilege. 

 

The boards are also going to be for sale is there anyone board you'd have liked to have kept?

 

Ha crazy. I haven't actually come to terms with them going. There may be a fistfight! Just kidding. 

10% of the sales will also go to Skatistan, what does it mean for you to be able to help an organisation like this?

 

I love them they are brilliant. And we just had our first donation. Some lovely American fans of a TV show I did just donated 250 euros. They didn't want a board. They just felt love for the project. So we're off to a crazy start. 

 

Looking back would there be anything you would do differently going into this exhibition?

 

Ha maybe not do it and keep myself to myself. 

 

How much has your role as a filmmaker helped you with putting this together?

 

Not at all. It's shocking to realise how green I am. Expressing yourself through art seems much more exposing than as a writer or director. It's thrilling but terrifying. So much more direct than film narrative. 

 

What has been the best advice that you've been given?

 

Please give me some. 

 

Do you have any advice that you'd offer and up and coming filmmaker?

 

Reconsider law or accountancy. 

 

And finally what do you hope people will take from the exhibition?

 

Reach out to the people around you. Not digitally. In a way you can touch and feel.