Irish photographer and skateboarder Richard Gilligan spent four years traveling through Europe and the US to photograph homemade skateparks. The resulting photographs are not your run-of-the-mill action shots filled with miraculous body moves, slashes, twists, and turns. Instead, Gilligan chooses to focus on the sport’s “negative space.” The out-of-the-way concrete embankments; nondescript suburban lots where kids come to practice; a simple wooden ramp so insubstantial that no one but a skateboarder would recognise its use. Many of these photographs can be appreciated as unique, if prosaic, landscapes, but Gilligan also populates his pictures with skaters at rest, smoking alone, hanging out together, or walking home board in hand. The images offer a grittily beautiful tribute to the ineffable hunger that unites all skateboarders – young, old, rich, poor. In these photographs Gilligan realises the act of skating represents more than a quest for glory, but a means of self-expression.
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Prestel (2014)
Order the book: www.amazon.co.uk