Ben Gore is a photographer and skateboarder based on the outskirts of London. With his collaborative zine Radulthood he brings together the illustrators of the skate world for a rainbow-coloured tribute to the subculture institution that is the skatepark.
We caught up with the community-minded zine-maker to find out more.
What’s Radulthood all about?
Radulthood is a collaborative zine, edited by myself and Benny Ellis, about the importance of skateparks in skate culture, the sense of community at a skatepark, and the skater’s personal relationship to their local park. We came up with the idea of doing a zine that focused on Pioneer, our local indoor park growing up, which would serve as a love letter to the park and the local scene. We started work on the project but it was winter, which meant there were limited opportunities to shoot street photos and it was often too busy at the park to shoot or film during opening hours. The idea evolved into bringing together a variety of artists and writers who would all create pieces along the theme of skatepark culture. I thought it would be interesting to see if we could make a skate magazine with no photos and no tricks that would hinge more on the philosophy of the skatepark space itself.
Where are the images all from and how did you decide to present them together in this way?
The images themselves are from a variety of contributors from around the world and the zine features the art of Andrew Pommier, Ben Jensen, Chris Milic, Christian Stearry, Eloise Dorr, Joel Benjamin, Leon Karssen, Otso Perasaari, and Tommy Bold. I arranged the art to illustrate or complement the pieces of writing that accompanied them.
What are the challenges in doing a collaborative zine?
There are quite a few challenges in doing a collaborative zine. It can be difficult to find the right group of people whose work will all fit into the same project and who will have pieces ready for the deadline. After I had the work itself, it was more a case of seeing who’s work complemented each other’s, laying the zine out so it flowed well from beginning to end, and making sure I felt I was doing all those involved justice in creating a project I was happy with.
What message do you hope the zine leaves behind?
The zine touches on a lot of things that I hope people pick up; the importance of skateparks in skate culture, the idea of community within skateboarding and the idea of skateboarding itself as a visual language. I wanted to make the zine accessible even to those who don’t skate so hopefully outsiders to the culture might grasp how much skateboarding means to people and the inherent creativity of the act of skating. Also the possible destruction of the Southbank spot was a catalyst for the project and I hope the zine serves as some kind of platform to explain the importance of skateparks to the people that use them.
What are some of your favourite pieces in it?
I love all the pieces in the zine and I’m still chuffed that everyone involved was happy to be a part of the project. The zine cover by Eloise Dorr is one of my favourites and I really love the pieces by Otso Perasaari, Christian Stearry and Tommy Bold. They were the artists who were in my head when I began the project and I was stoked to have them on board. All the writers in the zine did great work too. I was really excited to have Kyle Beachy write a piece for Radulthood as I love his writing and he really knows how to get under the skin of skate culture.
Any new zines in the pipeline?
I’m hoping to start work on the next issue of Radulthood sometime next month, but that probably won’t be ready for a while. Other than that I’m hoping to create another zine of my personal photography work and maybe a photography-based collaborative zine sometime in the future.
You can find out more about Radulthood on its Tumblr.