Henry Kingsford

Henry Kingsford

Berlin Spring at Cons Project — Grey magazine founder Henry Kingsford shares some things that inspire him, ahead of his skate photography exhibition at Cons Project London.

Cons Project London is hosting an exhibition, July 4, of photography by Grey magazine founder Henry Kingsford and the premiere of Berlin Spring, a short film featuring Converse Cons riders Jerome Campbell, Harry Lintell, Rory Milanes, Danny Sommerfeld and David Stenström in Berlin.

As well as a preview of some images from the show, featured above, we caught up with the talented photographer to find out what inspires his pulled-back approach.

Things That Inspire Me

Fluff magazine
Marcel Veldman is one of my favourite skateboard photographers and Fluff is his magazine. It comes out pretty much when he feels like it – which tends to be once a year – and each issue is based around a concept, often quite ambitious. For example, one early issue was made as a kids’ hardback book, with cardboard pages and the latest – Fluff Got Issues – was six zines bound together.

AnzeigeBerlin is a free, pocket-sized magazine made by Berlin-based photographer Adam Sello covering the Berlin skate scene exclusively. It’s the direct inspiration for Grey and other magazines in Europe such as apropos and Gone. Before I started Grey, I was struggling to find an outlet for my photos. Then a friend gave me some back issues of AnzeigeBerlin and that was it; I knew what to do. It was really liberating realising that you could make something small format, free and local, but still of a high quality and well-respected.

Fred Mortagne
When I was at college studying photography, we had to do a project called ‘homage’. I chose Fred Mortagne, and tried to imitate – or pay homage to – his graphic style and abstract viewpoints. The results were mixed, but one of the images ended up on the cover of Document magazine, which is probably why I’m still shooting skating today. These days I feel very privileged to occasionally publish Fred’s work in Grey.

Dank magazine
Some friends of mine from Norway publish this magazine. It’s a skate magazine inspired by high-end fashion and art magazines and the quality in all areas is really high: layout, paper, print, photography, writing… Art director and photographer Jørn Aagaard shoots skating a bit like a fashion photographer would, but in a good way. You can get UK copies from Palomino.

I’ll be honest and say I never really enjoyed skating Southbank that much; Victoria benches was my preferred spot. I’m also quite cynical generally, but I have been really inspired by the Long Live Southbank campaign and what it has achieved. When your mum phones you up to tell you she’s read about it in The Guardian or seen it on the news, it’s a good indication of the scale and reach of the campaign. It was a great achievement to get the mayor to step in, however Southbank isn’t safe yet – The Southbank Centre could try other ways of getting rid of the spot. So get down there and sign the petition if you haven’t already.

The Berlin Spring exhibition launches at Cons Project London, in Peckham, Friday July 4.