Art, essence of surfing on tap at Aussie fest
Spirit Of Akasha, The Alley Fish Fry and Salts And Suits To Hit Bleach* Festival
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 6 February, 2013 : - - Tweed Coast based writer, film maker and musician Andrew Kidman will be debuting an exciting new project called Spirit of Akasha at Gold Coast surf culture celebration, Bleach* Festival. Andrew and his band The Windy Hills shared the bill with The Break at last year's Bleach*, but this time around they'll be debuting a film experience commemorating the 40th anniversary of seminal surf movie Morning Of The Earth.
The new movie is called Spirit of Akasha, and Andrew has been working with original Morning Of The Earth creator Alby Falzon to create a music and film experience that examines the art and essence of surfing. Like the original, there's no dialogue – just surfing set to a soaring soundtrack. Aside from The Windy Hills, Andrew has gathered original tracks and compositions for the movie from luminaries such as Brian Wilson, Brain Cadd and Tim Gaze as well as modern stars like Andrew Vanwyngarden from MGMT, Tame Impala member’s side project POND, and Holly Rankin to name but few.
For Bleach*, Kidman's The Windy Hills will provide a live soundtrack to footage from the original Morning of The Earth along with other unseen footage Falzon gathered in the same era before the public debut of new footage from The Spirit Of Akasha airs. Spirit Of Akasha stars modern surf champions like Stephanie Gilmore and Mick Fanning surfing modern shapes that were inspired by the boards ridden in the original Morning Of The Earth, “It’s interesting to see these world class surfers ride different equipment, “ says Kidman, “The board really determines how you ride in the end. I thought we’d be able achieve something visually different by matching surfers with equipment from the era. It’s timeless how those boards make you ride,” said Kidman.
Spirit of Akasha will air at the final event of the festival, Bleach* Last Wave, hosted on March 3rd on the exclusive Surfers Deck at the Quiksilver Pro directly on the sands of Snapper Rocks. The evening is headlined by Mat McHugh and The Seperatista Soundsystem and will also feature special surprise guests for one limited capacity show on the 3rd of February.
The Alley Fish Fry will also be taking centre stage on Saturday 23rd February from 8.30am. All are welcome to this informal gathering of surfboard aficionados and their craft. Now into its sixth year, the event came about after Alley Fish Fry founder and organiser, Grant Newby, visited a similar event in Oceanside, California, and thought Australia could use the same. He’d noticed innovative shapers and board builders had been revisiting the past for some design inspiration, and in doing so had revived the popularity of surfboard shapes like the ‘fish’ and similar designs, bringing back lost skills such as resin tints and hand foiled fins.
Since its inception, The Alley Fish Fry has been a place for these fine craftsmen to showcase their skills, truly become a melting pot of ideas. “We have seen some amazing boards as shapers have pushed the boundaries over the last few years. All of this is to be applauded and celebrated as a positive for surfing,” said Newby.
From 27th of February, festival goers can enjoy five big nights of free outdoor films by the sea at Bleachside Flicks supported by Patagonia and FuelTV. A different selection of movies celebrating surf culture will be aired from 7pm including The Heart And The Sea, Minds In the Water, El Mar Mi Alma, the Fruits Of Dystopia and more. The documentary, Splinters which explores the evolution of surfing in Papua New Guinea will also screen during the festival at a Kallalu Gallery on the 26th of February.
Bleach* Festival and ASB Magazine will also be hosting Salts and Suits, a public forum that will pick up where author Phil Jarratt’s book of the same name left off. In book form, Salts and Suits examined the extraordinary true story of how a few beach bums turned surfing into one of the fastest growing leisure industries of the nation. Join industry experts from a cross section of backgrounds as they explore the complexities of the current state of the surf industry.
Hosted by Phil Jarratt and Tim Baker, panelists include Dougall Walker from Volcom, Stephen Kay from Rip Curl, Glen Casey from Patagonia, Keith Curtain from ASB Magazine and many more notable guests from across the surfing world. From 6pm on Wednesday 27th of February, The Coolangatta Hotel. Entry by gold coin donation.
Central to the 2013 festival is The Longest Wave, a conceptual theme based on a real life wave ridden by surfer Damon Harvey from Snapper Rocks to North Kirra – a distance of just under 2 kms – back in 2002. At the time the feat was lauded by surf media around the world as one of the longest continual ocean waves ever ridden, but the remarkable ride had slipped into dusty realms of surfing folk law until surf author Tim Baker and Bleach* Festival Director Louise Bezzina decided the story begged a revisit.
For Bleach* 2013, The Longest Wave Photographic Exhibition will examine the history of the area Damon’s wave covered through a community exhibition curated by Michael Aird and Tim Baker, from stunning modern images by some of the nation’s most respected surf photographers to family photos taken at the turn of the century. The exhibition will also feature video interviews with local surfing identities including Damon, current world champions Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore and a host of colourful residents as they share stories and recollections of the region.
The Longest Wave Coastal Walk will fuse elements of street theatre to a guided tour of the area spanned by Damon’s ride, while The Longest Wave Installation will interpret Damon’s ride artistically, with celebrated local artists responding to the theme including Nick Chalmers, Nick Lawrence, Jae Copp, Narani Henson, Claudio Kirac, Beastman, Mandana Mapar, Shelli Bankier, Mari Hirata, Peter Joli Wilson, Tristan Schulz and more.
A range of female surf artists across a wide range of genres will also be on display at the Surfsister Kaleidoscope which will open on the 24th of February at Kallalu Gallery. Gold Coast Surf World Museum will also be hosting a range of ocean-inspired art with the Art of Surfing exhibition opening on the 2nd of March.
Festival goers can also step back in time and delve into Gold Coast’s celebrated beach culture at Surfing the 1950s & 1960s at Surf World Museum Gold Coast, experience the forefront of ideas from surf tourism and industry experts from around the world at the Global Surf Cities Conference, and rub shoulders with surf coaching elite at Surfing Australia’s Green Room Conference.
And aside from hosting surf art and photography exhibitions, the Gold Coast Bulletin Bleach* Hub will also feature the ability to work remotely from the festival at Coworking by the Beach, a free WIFI enabled work space overlooking the ultimate office at Coolangatta beach.
Source: Bleach Festival
Author: Carolyn Emge
Tags: Bleach Festival, Phil Jarratt, Andrew Kidman