This exhibition included contemporary and historic photographs, surfboards, films, memorabilia and artworks from 15 southern Sydney artists, photographers, filmmakers that highlighted key surfers, influential characters, iconic surf breaks, competitions and clubs over the past decades.
Featured shapers included Jackson Surfboards, Gordon & Smith, Southern Comfort, Peter Clarke, Carverley Surfboards, PCC, Force 9, Mark Riley and Brett Wilson. The exhibition also included a number of new and recent works by southern Sydney artists, film makers and photographers. These included Nicole Kelly’s landscapes, filmmaker Cameron Staunton’s new video work, Adam Oste’s paintings examining landscape, history and culture, Kirk Jenkins abstract paintings that explored the experience of moving through water and connecting with nature, Sam Venn’s photographs inside the waves, Grant Carverley’s installation using resin and foam and Henry Jock Walker's wetsuit painting collaboration with young surfer Jarvis Earle.
Surfing become a hugely popular pastime in Australia and internationally in the ‘60s with the rise of American pop culture and the new wave of youth subculture. In Cronulla, Jack Eden and Bob Weeks photographed some of the best local surfers including Garry Birdsall, Frank Latta and world champion Bobby Brown, with the creation of a local surf industry as Brian Jackson opened his iconic factory in 1957. The evolution of the shortboard in the 1970s, saw a shift in the culture of surfing and the rise in professionalism of the sport where the world’s first surfing contest under floodlights was held at Elouera beach in 1984 and the Shark Island Challenge (1997-2006) which was the most celebrated world tour event in bodyboarding.
Lifetime Cronulla surfer and photographer, John Veage co-curated this exhibition with Carrie Kibbler from Hazelhurst Arts Centre.
Image:Photography John Veage, Dawn patrol 2019. Digital photograph.