I haven’t been to an art exhibition opening for over a year.
It seems like something from the deep, distant past; when beers were free and other people’s aerosols were something to be gleefully shared. When word hit my inbox there was a group show coming up at Perth’s The Corner Gallery featuring a bunch of great skate-related artists and a real-life skateable snake run, I felt incredibly jealous. But then Perth went into a snap lockdown for a week and the show was delayed, so I felt a bit better. It’s back on now and I don’t know quite how to feel, so I got on the old email with the show’s organiser Alex Miller to distract me from my burning FOMO.
So Alex, describe to me how you arrived at the exhibition title Eight Inch Blunt.
It’s just a reflection of where I see skateboarding’s place in the world. There are so many in-jokes and random, yet precisely descriptive words we use in every sentence which must sound so bizarre to Joe Blow. Who knows what my Mum and her mates think an Eight Inch Blunt is, but we all know it’s just a board size and the name of a trick put together.
You’ve got some great artists involved in the show; can you tell me a bit about a few of them and how they came to be involved?
Jimbo Phillips, son of the legendary Jim Phillips is in there. Not much explaining to do—unless you’ve never seen the Santa Cruz Screaming Hand—but I couldn’t even believe he replied to my call out, let alone submitted three signed pieces. I laughed when I saw David The Robot’s illustration and he calmly replied, ‘I can’t believe no one has done this yet. It was just there for the taking.’ Let’s just say you will never look at two of the most well-known cartoon characters the same again. Eloise Dorr from the UK has collaborated with Vans on a few projects and is a great young artist. But the artist I am most excited to have in the show is Mary Oliver, from Mparntwe (Central Australia country), which Nicky Hayes from Spinifex Skateboards hooked up for us. I swear her board was glowing when I unwrapped it the other day; it really is quite magical.
I’m also keen on that board; it’s being sold by silent auction, right? How silent is this auction, and if I stay very quiet can I have the board?
The silent auction is not so silent anymore, I’m afraid. We have been receiving bids from around Australia for the board already and the current bid is $650AUD. If you would like to place a bid on it please get in touch with your name, contact information and bid amount.
Is it true you’ve built a snake run in your gallery?
The clip and Jon Cahill’s skating doesn’t lie (below)
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What else do you have planned for the show?
The show will stay up for 10 days and is open to the public to view. During the first week we will be screening Jonah Hill’s Mid90s; we will also host the Perth premiere for the Melbourne video Kanpai, and a couple other midweek treats to be announced shortly.
And for the gallery in the future?
I want to continue using The Corner Gallery to provide a unique experience and really push how we present artwork so that people will continue to remember and talk about it. Like, ‘Yeah we saw Jimbo Phillips’ artwork and Chami’s photos there, but there was also a fucking snake run throughout the gallery space with a wallride going over the door to the bar,’ y’know? We host a lot of live art shows at The Corner Gallery, which is exciting for both the artists and audience. There is also a rich history of live music in our band room, and it’s always super exciting to see each new wave of bands that come through. The musicians we are blessed with in Perth really is incredible.
Cool. Any shout-outs before we wrap this up?
Quick shout-outs to all the artists involved, the bands playing on the night of the opening, and a BIG shoutout to my boy and MVP of this shit—Jacob Aitken, for the endless nights on the tools building the snake run and believing in this project!
Eight Inch Blunt opens May 7 at 6:30 pm and runs until May 16.
Check The Corner Gallery for more details.