The art of the sea, with its rhythm, movement, colour, form, pattern, and harmony, has remained a constant source of inspiration for me. I have always resided in close proximity to the ocean, and my love for it blossomed at a young age. The ocean and the littoral zone has provided me with a sense of refuge, familiarity, and an understanding of the constancy found within the ever-changing nature of life. These experiences have undoubtedly shaped my work.
I started surfing around the age of eight when my Mum and Dad enrolled me in The Sea Urchins (now known as Nippers) at Scarborough Beach Surf Lifesaving Club and I still have the trophy that reads “Top Sea Urchin”. It was during those times that I first encountered the mighty force of the Indian Ocean and learned how it could wield both the power of life and death. Tragically, I was present when a swimmer lost their life, and despite the lifesavers’ best efforts, they couldn’t be resuscitated on the beach. This profound experience made me acutely aware of the immense power that nature possesses. It was at Sea Urchins that I learned to catch waves on my foamy and ride white water back to the shore.
In 1980, when I was eleven years old, I resided in Scarborough with my Dad. However, at the beginning of Summer, we relocated to North Beach and settled into a house located approximately 200 meters away from the beach. Throughout that Summer, I would walk down to the North side of Mettams Pool, carrying my board, and it was there that I experienced the exhilaration of riding my first green water wave. That was the pivotal moment when I truly became enthralled and captivated by surfing, feeling an unquenchable thirst for further experiences. From then on, it evolved into my greatest passion during my teenage years.
Surfing served as the catalyst that introduced me to the inspiring world of the littoral zone and fostered my understanding of it. It was through my love for surfing that I began to explore and appreciate the intricate dynamics. The act of riding waves allowed me to gain insights into the balance and harmonious relationship that exists within the littoral zone. Surfing became my gateway to not only the joy of riding waves, but also to a deeper appreciation and comprehension of the coastal environment.
Upon my relocation to Margaret River at the age of 27, I searched for the opportunity to ride the largest waves Western Australia had to offer. Margaret River became a pivotal place in my surfing journey, where I truly learned the extent of my capabilities and developed a profound connection with the strength and beauty of the South West Indian Ocean.
Surfing has consistently served as a grounding force in my life. I have always felt a sense of competence and belonging within the surf culture, as it was an integral part of my upbringing and initiation. It has remained a constant presence, providing stability and a connection to surfing itself and the community. Through the highs and lows of life, surfing has been a steady and unwavering companion, offering solace, inspiration, and a sense of belonging.