wavewall (2017) is a large, visual, public artwork communicating the imagery, culture and growth of North Sea surfing. As a surfer and photographer since the eighties, the work is my response to surfing's development and its' effect on the community in which it belongs.
The work combines my relevant surf photography with mixed media including submissions from other photographers, snapshots from surfers, press cuttings, magazine articles and advertising gathered during a call for content during the development stage of the project. The resulting media, dating back to the 1960’s, was used as in intricate photomontage to form a single abstract representation of the view from Longsands Beach out to sea and was then installed on an unused 30m wall on the beach approach at Tynemouth, the centre of surfing in the North East.
The work created a visual story communicating the impact of surfing on our environment and lives, transforming the wall into an innovative and accessible art work. The work was left to degrade naturally in the harsh marine environment to hint at the past history and changing eras of surfing. Two years on the work remains installed and has developed the abstract aesthetic intended, portraying the often less than idyllic reality of surfing, pollution, harsh weather and bleak environments.
Some stories told by the imagery have been lost to the elements whilst other remain reflecting the only real truth in surfing, that it is in a constant state of flux.