Gold Coast City Gallery: Exploring surf culture through Cutback

Exploring surf culture through Cutback
Cutback: Surfing Through Art
Gold Coast City Gallery

14 February – 22 March 2015
Gallery 1 I Free Entry
Opening this Friday at 6pm at Gold Coast City Gallery is Cutback: Surfing Through Art, an exhibition featuring seven contemporary Australian artists responding to the art of surfing and alternative aspects of surf culture.
Named after the surfing manoeuvre ‘cutback’, that sees the surfer sharply change direction and push back toward the whitewater, this exhibition will explore surfing as a pastime and the fertile territory it provides for art makers.

The exhibition aims to draw out some of the intricacies of how artists have engaged with surfing and will feature Chris Bennie, Shaun Gladwell, Andrew Kidman, William Mackinnon, Nanda Ormond, Ben Rak and Joel Rea.
Gallery Manager John Walsh says Gold Coast City Gallery is extremely pleased to present this contemporary exhibition that highlights our unique Gold Coast environment and our connection with the beach and water.
‘Beach and surf culture is a way of life for so many of us here on the Gold Coast and we are sure this exhibition will connect with locals and enable a heightened sense of engagement with surfing.’ Mr Walsh said.
‘This exhibition fits nicely with our desire to collect works which showcase surfing and beach culture to inspire new generations to embrace local art and culture,’ Mr Walsh said.

Visitors to Gold Coast City Gallery will be familiar with Shaun Gladwell who was awarded the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award in 2014 for his work The Flying Dutchman in Blue (Coogee 2) which will feature in the exhibition. Gladwell says of his work:
‘The Flying Dutchman in Blue (Coogee 2) is a photograph exploring my interest in the romantic tradition and notions of the sublime. The power of the Australian surf is the stage for this figure that strikes a balanced and level pose seconds before being engulfed by the overpowering force of the waves.”
Gold Coast City Gallery is pleased to host this international superstar when he is in Australia next month and will give a special artist presentation on Sunday, 8 March.

Melbourne based William Mackinnon references the great wave depictions of 19th Century Japanese artist Hokusai in his large painting Green wave, while local artist Chris Bennie, recently returned from Asialink Residency Laboratory at Youkobo Art Space, ponders the impact of the Fukushima disaster within the frame of a smart phone device using images of waves and references to ancient mythology.
Andrew Kidman has an innate connection to the ocean that drives his documentation of his surfing peers including Stephanie Gilmore and Westerly Windina. Fellow surfer Ben Rak’s Performance Anxiety series consists of almost life-size aluminium figures in stances that are familiar both to surfers riding a wave and dancing rituals associated with his Jewish faith.
Local artist Joel Rea’s painting technique has a cinematic quality as he captures moments from life and his imagination. Of his work he notes, “My paintings are my mythology. I harvest ideas from my dreams, nightmares, fantasies and fears. My landscapes can offer sanctuary or crumble into the depths of history, the oceans can crash and destroy but then cleanse to start new life.”

Resident illustrator for Surfing World magazine Nanda Ormond admits, “I started surfing— much too late to ever turn pro—and since then going for a surf has been my balance in a career full of long hours hunching at a desk, poking my tongue out and frowning. Surfing is a pastime that can transcend sport. In its greatest moments it is just pure, thankful joy. There are, however, as many facets to surfing as any other notable human endeavour, and from these I make my living as surf cartoonist.” His animation The Julian Trunk will be showcased along with 120 pen and ink studies.
Gold Coast City Gallery will present a number of exciting public programs to complement this exhibition. Full details:
DATE: Fri, 13 Feb, 6.00pm – 8.00pm I All are welcome, no RSVP required.
Music program by DJ Waves Anderson
DATE: Sun, 8 March 2015, 3pm I FREE event, bookings essential.

DATE: Sat, 14 March, 3pm I FREE event, please RSVP.
This public program will address some of the issues related to women and surf and will include Gold Coast launch of new book by Andrew Kidman Single – Stephanie Gilmore – Studies of Movement.
AFTER DARK: art/surf/life
DATE: Thu,19 Mar I Galleries stay open until 8pm I Talks from 6pm I Cash bar
A panel of creatives and surfers ‘wax lyrical’ about the intersection of life, art and surf culture.
Music program by Old Man Friday.
FREE ART ACTIVITIES for Grommets aged 4 -12
DATES: Sat, 21 Mar and Sun, 22 Mar 2015, Drop in anytime from 11:00am – 1:00pm
DATE: Sat 21 Mar 2015, 2.00pm – 4.00pm I COST: $20 – 15 places. Booking required.
Grommets aged 8+ will work with the very cool Nanda Ormond in this comic strip illustration workshop.


Joel Rea - Resolution_med
Top image: Shaun Gladwell, The Flying Dutchman in Blue (Coogee 2) 2013, digital print
on archival paper, Courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne
Second: Chris Bennie, The Waves (Achilles) 2014, photograph. Courtesy of the artist
Thrid: Joel Rea, Resolution (detail) 2014, oil on canvas. Private collection. Courtesy of Gallery One, Gold Coast
High resolution photographs available by contacting Gold Coast City Gallery.
Exhibition catalogue can be downloaded from our website and a printed version will be available at the Gallery for $5.

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