Beyond the Board : Group Show
8 August – 19 September 2014
A first of its kind, this exhibition explored the multi-billion pound surf industry’s impact on the natural world through the work of six hand-selected South West based artists who are also keen surfers; Dawn Olive, Pete Newell, Maria Rivans, Ryan Ward, Ben Cook and Simon Ledson.
Surf culture is widely considered to embody a deep connection with nature, both by its subscribers and those outside of it. Yet, the chemicals used to produce non-degradable wetsuits, surf boards and other hardware, the air and land miles travelled in search of waves, and the many isolated cultures and habitats invaded by surf tourism, are putting considerable pressure on the environment.
Artist Pete Newell's particular concern is the production of neoprene wetsuits, for which tons of oil and limestone are used each year. Whilst wet suits are often patched-up, handed down or sold on, eventually they will go to landfill. Considering the natural resources used to produce neoprene are millions of years in the making, their short life-span as wetsuit material before going back into the ground as landfill seems disproportionate.