Henry aka ‘Henros’ is an Australian Photographer, Explorer and artist part of the rising UrbEx aka Urban Exploration scene (photographers, graffitti artists, street artists and more).
He explains his passion and reason for creation,
“This is simple to me, everyone wants to be known even after they die and I find making a mark is expressing yourself to everyone in society, showing the public what you do & what you believe in.
Expression is extremely important, everyone is becoming a slave to today’s laws and crazy policies, expression has to be exercised to remain sane and to do the things that you believe in, expression relies heavily on making a mark in my opinion.”
(Photo by ‘Henros’, below)
Henros has only recently turned his full devotion to photography, after years spent in the street art and graffiti worlds. And with a major buzz surrounding ‘Henros’ and the whole UrbEx scene in general, now is the perfect time to get schooled, by reading the Art Talk interview, below…
Basics/Getting to Know
Name + D.O.B?
Sometime in 1997.
City, State n Country you’re from?
(Picture by ‘Henros’, below)
Describe a memory from three stages of your life basically trying to piece together your pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, girls, school, crime… ANYTHING man.
* age 5 – beginnings:
Going to Watsons Bay for picnics was always something that I remembered from around that age.
* age 10 – continuations:
Me and a close mate (he’s locked up now I think) trekked half an hour to blockbuster and managed to rent Superbad 😀
* age 15 – getting serious:
Around the time I really went hard in bombing trains, also the year I had court for doing the very same, I continued but just wasn’t worth it so I turned to urbex photography late that year.
(Picture below of a few tags by ‘Henros’ in the wild)
Do what makes you happy, fuck what others think and look at life from a different perspective.
Anyone that knows me well will know I basically only listen to High Focus which is a UK hip-hop record company, the have the best UK artist’s all in one big crew.
My favorite’s would be Dirty Dike, BVA, Four owls, Stig of the dump, Datkid & Fliptrix, as well as old style UK artists like braintax and jehst.
Favorite TV show(s)?
The inbetweeners & Skins (seasons 1-3).
Sid’s a sickcunt.
Favorite sport(s) + teams?
Use to be heaps good at Waterpolo before sickness got the best of me but Rugby League would be my favourite sport & the Roosters as my fav team.
(Picture by ‘Henros’, below)
Pineapple Express, Lords of Dogtown, Kickass 1/2 & Superbad.
Favorite books and comics?
Not much of a reader but I digged the Cherub series when I was younger.
Urban Exploration Questions
What does an average day out exploring involve?
Every explorer knows that every day is different but roughly things like roofs and trains are a must do, then there’s bigger things like tunnels or exploring an abandoned place which should be suggested with a days notice or something.
Favorite other explorers and why?
My homie @tiskael is really a big role model for me; he’s easily one of nicest people I’ve met and yeah just a really wise and humble guy.
There are all the veterans like @twentyfourseven, which have really shaped urbex and its scene throughout Sydney; they made it what it is today.
Also some of my favorites are @lukieus @risky_flicks as well as gold coasters @aych20 and @nikonloveski and the homie all the way from Russia @rdream1 and his crew.
Worst aspect of urban exploration?
All the fucking toys, there are just so many 12 year olds with $2000 cameras trying to be urbex in Sydney and its just cringing, its gotten to the point where cops have gotten wind of the “Exploring movement” that’s plagued Sydney.
A bunch of people got done in the tunnels at Bondi Junction and the media release clearly said “Anyone choosing to trespass on railway property as a shortcut or to EXPLORE blah blah” but its getting to the point that police know just as much as the people inside the tunnel.
Also ridgees are being targeting too because of to many little kids raiding them to the point where there’s undo cops chilling in every back car while there running waiting for the kooks to pop the door right in front of them.
Best aspect of urban exploration?
Meeting new people, finding new spots and just having a good day shooting with no troubles.
Do you consider your actions and photography as ‘art’, ‘design’, performance art, vandalism, re-hashed crap?
Personally I think it all depends on what I’m shooting, if I’m doing graff photograph then vandalism yet other stuff like tunnels is more art like, the shots that come out of the exploring in them give a more arty outlook in it.
All the rest is just re-hashed and random shit that we come across.
(Below are a series of Urban Exploration photos, taken by ‘Henros’ in the Sydney CDB)
When and why did you first exploring?
Before I started properly shooting urbex I graffed, I use to bomb trains with a fair few people and did runups too but after getting done I just gave it up, I continued while I was waiting for court but it just wasn’t worth it.
I always like photography and I just slowly transitioned from graff to urbex.
Although exploring is my biggest hobby I really do miss graff and the pure rush you get from it.
Any pivotal exploring moment/influence?
I don’t have many things that I’ve done which has really moved me into a different direction although the train surfing over the bridge gave me a lot of coverage, which drove me to start going harder in my work.
What are the best and worst parts of living and being an urban explorer in Sydney, Australia aka ConvictTown?
Just the amount of kooks that do it and ruin a lot of aspects in it, as well as the vast amounts of cops that are always lurking train stations and the city.
How, in your opinion, has the rise of platforms such as Instagram impacted the life of an emerging explorer, and the scene in general?
A lot of the growth in urbex throughout Australia has come from social apps like Instagram, it’s really the only safe place to post flicks, but saying that a lot of the kids found urbex from that which lead in my opinion to the massive amounts of kids trying to do it too.
You have commented about graffiti that,
“It might not mean much to the fools inside glued to their phones apart from vandalism yet to people that actually understand it’s beautiful, something different and unique and something that shows someone’s drive to fuck the authority and make a mark on society, graff can be done by anyone it’s just a matter of determination and the drive to get the fuck up and make a name for yourself.”
I’d like to explore some of your points here in more detail…
* What do you think the general public’s perception of urban exploring and graffiti is?
I’m going to be straight out with it, in my opinion its vandalism and destruction of the governments property but there’s a lot more to it, graffiti seems to be an eyesore to some yet a lot of people would rather see a colorful, stylish and clean panel to brighten up their day then the boring old bland trains everyone sees.
Graffiti is seen as a problem more than a form of art.
I think urbex is looked at more of a crime then a form of photography and self expression, it’s very misunderstood especially to police, its just trespassing to them, not capturing aspects of Sydney which may never be seen again.
(Pictures below of ‘Henros’ out n about)
* What importance does “making a mark on society” have for you, and why?
This is simple to me, everyone wants to be known even after they die and I find making a mark is expressing yourself to everyone in society, showing the public what you do & what you belief in.
Expression is extremely important, everyone is becoming a slave to today’s laws and crazy policies, expression has to be exercised to remain sane and to do the things that you believe in, expression relies heavily on making a mark in my opinion.
* What does “making a name” mean to you, and why?
Making a name for yourself is going beyond the boundaries, doing something that hasn’t been done before in order to be known, making a mark is putting what you believe out there, enough to create discussion and contact.
Often things that have not been done before can make a person well known and give them a name and reputation as well as respect.
You were involved in the recent train surf over the SydneyHarbourBridge…
* What on earth is wrong with you guys 😉 ?
Yeah we’re idiots but we’re just kids having fun, no matter what anyone else thinks.*
(Some pictures of the event, below)
Are you willing to explain the what, were, when and how?
Basically me, @tiskael @dhbl_ & @slaunted_ and myself just hit up a roof in Milsons point, we headed to the station were the idea of a back on (ride on the back) should be done to go out with a bang seeing as it was @dhbl’s last day before heading back to Brisbane.
We went to Wynyard and within 1 minute of arriving there a tango arrived and shit went down, @tiskael taking flicks and me and @slaunted filming.
I filmed the train coming through and was pretty stoked to see him on the back.
We ran out of the station but were pretty anxious cause we had no idea what happened seeing as he didn’t have a phone, I got a message of him that he was all good and we met up and yeah was a pretty fun day.
* What did it feel like having footage you had taken used on 9 News?
It came as a real surprised at the start but after I watch the report and all that it turned out not to bad, bit of cash wouldn’t of hurt 😉
@dhbl_ wanted to go out with a bang for his final day of his Sydney trip, he delivered and there was a lot of controversy but it was still so worth it, footage turned out great and he was pretty happy not getting into any strife even after such a big media storm.
Odds n Ends
What role did toys play in your childhood?
Wasn’t much for toys, more outside kicking the footy with the older brothers.
Who was your 1st crush and why?
I liked a few girls but my first proper crush was with a chick named Cassie, she was amazing but I’m not going to go into detail.
Does sex change everything?
Depends what the circumstances are, but in my opinion girls and boys can do the same thing, if you disagree your just closed minded and need to look at people from a different perspective.
Please describe your latest dream in detail…
Two people raided my home, knocked one out with a cricket bat when he charged me then had a chat with the other after I found out he was a kid from my school?
Really weird lol.
Have you ever tried psychedelics of any sort? And what was the experience like?
Only drug I’ve ever had is weed although ill probably experiment with some sort of heavier drug in the future.
(Picture by ‘Henros’ below)
What does ‘lad’ culture mean to you and why?
Lad culture means to me kids who dress ratty and act like a rat in todays civilization, often involved in crime, drugs and violence.
If you are willing + able please sketch + describe the classic ‘lad’.
A lad is someone that lurks train stations, ratty suburbs, skate parks as well as shopping centers, often they will confront you asking for a cigarette or a spare dollar, often species become aggressive if you exchange looks for more than one second.
They rock tn’s/air maxies and Canterbury shorts and usually have some type of mullet/ratty as well as there trusty bumbag, with a swear coming out every second word and spitting every 5 seconds too.
Who would win in a fight and why: a punk as all hell kid from the Coast Vs. an inner-city-lad?
I’ve had plenty of experiences with lads and majority are fucking bitches, easily the punk, they’re some of the toughest in my opinion.
(Picture below by ‘Henros’ of ‘Tubby Toy‘ in action)
You are currently studying at an undisclosed high school in Sydney:
* how has formal study impacted your photography and exploring thus far?
Not much for study to be honest, shooting comes before school.
* What are your thoughts on Australian High School life in 2014?
I hate school its terrible for me, hate a lot of people and the work is killing me there but I’ve only got a year left.
* What are the best and worst parts of going to a private school?
The best would be my mates and how they all paint so were always fucking around and stuff.
Although something that I hate is the close mindless of people there, everyone has to be perfect, when there’s someone who challenges that it’s seen as such a bad thing from peers at school.
You commented on one of your photos:
“Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, as well as the Mum’s who have had to do both roles, they’re the real hero’s. Rest in paradise Dad, not as second goes by without missing you.”
* What impact did your father have on you?
He was a legend, top bloke, was sick as a dog and still was everything I could ask for, he shaped my hobbies, beliefs and my outlook on life, always have and always will love/miss him <3
* What impact has your mother had on your life and development?
She basically did all the hard work, she works very hard to keep 3 boys (17,19,21) she’s amazing and deals with all my shit and still loves me, she’s my best mate and although sometimes its hard she’s still the a fucking legend and the best mum I could ask for.
(Picture below of the interior of ‘Pro Art‘ in Sydney, by ‘Henros’)
* What does your mom think of your exploring…. activities?
She hadn’t caught wind of everything I was doing till I got a text in school saying, “delete that video henros”.
Prior to this I uploaded a 3min video of train bombing and exploring shit which she somehow saw, she knows I do stuff but still lets me go out although she does always say, “Please don’t climb on any buildings etc.”.
It’s hard to do a lot of stuff because if I get done again my activities might be finished which is why I have to be as careful as possible.
Any major projects you want to hype man?
At the moment all my work will be going into my HSC for art and photography so I’m just collecting footage for the film, I’m making, this film will be released to everyone when I submit it to my final work its going to be good but there’s still a lot I need to film, apart from that jus usual work and exploring will be ongoing, also massive shout out the all the homies that have taken me out and taken me places as well as the rad kents I’ve met throughout the years, and massive thanks to @artwhorecult for this opportunity to have an Art Talk.