Two Birds Blog
Episode 2: Charles Myatt

Meet Charlie. Skateboarder, sculptor, and artist. In the second of our Two Birds Life series, we sat down with Charlie to discuss his passion for skateboarding, DIY skatepark projects and his business.

Two Birds Life - Blog 002 - Charles Myatt

How long have you been skateboarding? Where are your favourite spots?

I was looking at a picture the other day, an old photograph time stamped 2001. I probably started skating a year or so before. 20 years, something like that.

So many favourites! I like being in the city most of all, the streets of Edinburgh I find most exciting, getting from a to b in the old town is rapid good fun. Right now for me the local is the Kelvingrove Galleries. It’s pretty much the only dry spot this time of year and semi lit at night. Really into going fast, sliding around there and getting creative on the curb.

Two Birds Life - Charles Myatt

How did you get into art and concrete fabrication? What have been your favourite projects to work on?

I began to get into art and concrete fabrication firstly through my interest in art, materials and making, I have a degree in sculpture and a masters in painting. On these courses I got really into the technical departments and simply learning how to make things in as many different ways as it was possible, be it casting, jewellery, metal and wood work, printing. Processes, pigments, limes and mortars..  Looking around and seeing what things are made of in the city informed all of this, I find materials endlessly fascinating.

So inevitably I needed to make some money, having drifted in and out of various different self employed construction works I began to combine all my interests and fabricate things for buildings a little more creatively.

I worked with concrete on a good few DIY skatepark projects an so it became a material I used often. I helped with the construction of the Loading Bay indoor skatepark and was asked to build this big reception area, an interlocking three-piece design by Mara Bragagnolo.

At this time my good Friend Jack was spending a year carving marble in Italy. We share so many interests together, starting with skateboarding. Having met at art school he became partly responsible for a lot of my interest in materials / the city and totally stoked the fire.. So he’s in Italy I call him and suggest he move to Glasgow and we start this company Myatt-Mccallum, he made it happen and now we are working happily together from our workshop in Port Dundas – fabricating all kinds of different concrete and stone pieces. It’s fun!

The best bit is always the free-play messing around in the studio, we experiment a lot combining different materials and forms and seeing what comes out, this in turn informs our abilities and designs for commercial work. We often have excess material – wet concrete – and you have a limited time to make it useful, so we get creative in these moments.

Aside from this The Alchemy Experiment counter project was the best for sure, a long period of making and working out this complex counter design, we developed some new processes, worked with great people and are pleased with the results. If you’re in Glasgow swing by for a coffee and see some of the art work they are show casing from around the city.

Two Birds Life - Charles Myatt

When did you start building Arches DIY? What was the motive behind it?

I started The Arches Diy on, I think, July the 11th 2018. The motive behind it.. It was really incentivised by Civic House’s summer school ‘test unit’. I was given a Bursary placement on the course, they put together a big group of artists, architects, designers, thinkers, writers, dancers, activists, people from around the community in port Dundas, people from all over the world really.. The list goes on… We all spent a week together talking, thinking and making in response to the area, a lot of the focus was on the city, how it’s used, planned, mapped, what it’s made of, who inhabits it, what brings it to life, activates it and how we can explore this. It was an amazing week, that’s when I found the place and all the ideas we’d been thinking of got channelled into a desire to build a skatepark there, it ticked all the boxes and having built ones before I was unconsciously looking for a new one. Now it’s used everyday by diverse groups of people in the drier months and it has brought together a community of people with a broad array of interests. It’s a free place  where everyone is welcome and a special one at that.

Two Birds Life - Charles Myatt

Who was the most influential skater for you growing and who is inspires you most just now?

Wow, tough question, there are a lot of inspiring people in this world. It’s got to be Fergus Wood. The guy is rad. We have skated together for a long time and for about 4 or five years we pretty much skated solely together in our wee town, he would learn faster than me and I’d catch up so he really pushed me, I probably wouldn’t skate if it wasn’t for him and our friendship.

Also in the wider world the homies Ben Koppl– @rollersurfer and Leo Valls are skateboarding with a style, grace and creativity that always gets me stoked, in two pretty different ways. I like how Leo channels a philosophy through his skateboarding. It’s very thoughtful.

To skate at the top of your game, do you keep fit in any other way and other than the escapism that skating itself, what do you do to switch off?

Having a healthy body and healthy mind helps keep you going, skateboarding itself can help with this, no matter how you are feeling it can pick you up. Off the board I like to do Yoga most of all and have started practising myself and with other people more often. I have been trying to keep this up lately, of course I want to skate into the future so its super important to take care of yourself because ya know the body and mind is the vehicle we use to do all the things we enjoy… Check it in for an MOT now and then!  I hope not to have to deal with arthritis when I’m older or whatever other damage that’s incurred along the way as it will get in the way of the things I love to do.. prevention is the best form of cure so they say  S/O @_namaskate_ join in the zoom yoga classes!

Now we are in the winter months with few activities to do, few times to skate, using the Two Birds boutique gym has been great to let loose of some energy and to simply keep using my body, keeping it moving and staying active in these cold dark times, I’ve never really been to the gym before and you’ve been very welcoming there and so thank you for this massively, it really helps keep up some positive vibes.