London Day Out With Rob Mathieson: Part 2 - Gillett Square

A wonderful and sunny day out in London with the illustrator Rob Mathieson and his dog Snoopy aka Fatman The Dog.


Words and photography: Maksim Kalanep

It was the first true day of spring in 2017. The weather was too good to be true and the temperature was close to 18 degrees celsius. Of course, two days later it was back to normal - grey and windy cold, but just for one day, it was amazing to have it.

We met with Rob at his studio in North London. It was around midday and the time to take Snoopy aka Fatman The Dog out for a walk. So we did just that. Snoopy was very excited about that since he could play and chew his favourite tennis balls that are always kept outside the house. And it was his first day without the plastic cone collar that he had to wear for a week due to a small injury to his ear. 

So we went around local area and spent good 45 minutes walking through several parks on the way. Snoopy looked happy and even found a new fresh tennis ball that he could crack open. That's what he usually does to all his balls. It's not very healthy for his teeth and all - but he seems to enjoy doing that anyways.

When we got back from the walk - Rob showed me around his little sunny studio and flipped through his current and older sketch books. Snoopy was a bit tired by this point but still enjoyed it as I did. He got more excited when Rob took out of the boxes all the boards that he did the graphics for. Among those were the series with the dogs that Rob did for Enjoi skateboards not that long ago. Snoopy seemed to approve those. 

Rob is a huge fan of Didier Drogba and Chelsea FC - so he showed me a stash of all the shirts and related bits and pieces that he owns as well. He's got an impressive collection.

Since the weather was not to be missed - we soon were ready to head outside for a little skate session. Rob still had some work to do - but it could be done on the way. We cruised down the streets to the local print shop where Rob printed out some of his illustrations. Post Office was our next target and since we were heading towards Gillett Square anyways - we stopped by the one right next to it. At this point, the work was done for the day and we could finally go skate a bit.

Gillett Square was quiet and just half a dozen riders were warming up. There were way more people around just sitting or lying down enjoying the warm rays of the sun. Rob joined the warm up session and soon enough was practising his switch moves on the box. He still was very careful, though - he'd just recovered from smashed ribs in his body. He got that injury by playing football and was not able to skate for 6 weeks. So it was his first day on the board.

While Rob and Shaun Witherup, who showed up on his bike straight after us, were having fun - I was having a great time shooting with Fuji Rensha Cardia Byu-N 16 camera that I was using for skateboarding for the first time. It was still sunny which is ideal for this camera - so it was a perfect chance for me to test it.

Soon enough the sun started to approach the roofs of the close by building and the square turned into a dark cold spot. It was time to call it a day. Rob went his way and I went home to process the films from the day in the darkroom.

Part 1 - Rob Mathieson & his dog Snoopy at their North London studio
Part 2 - Skate session at the Gillett Square

Shot with Fuji Rensha Cardia Byu-N16
Film Kodak Tri-X 400 ISO
Developed with Kodak T-Max developer
Scanned with Nikon D810 + Nikon 60mm f/2.8 G ED lens at f/8

At the Gillett Square in North London

Gillett Square details

Rob Mathieson warming up, waxing the ledge & doing switch crooked grind

Rob Mathieson - Switch Bs Smith & Switch Crooked

Rob Mathieson - Switch Bs Smith & Switch Crooked

Rob Mathieson - Switch Bs 5-0 Sequence

Rob Mathieson - Nollie 180 Switch Crooked Sequence

Rob Mathieson - 360 Flip Sequence

Rob Mathieson - 360 Flip Sequence

Rob Mathieson on Shaun Witherup's bike