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Surf photography on show at Gold Coast festival

The Gold Coast’s second Flotsam Festival, running May 1 – May 14, features a program that’s packed to the brim with surf and ocean photography.

This Dick Hoole ’70s picture will be among several adorning the fenceline of Coolangatta’s Pink Hotel. Photo: Dick Hoole.

Flotsam Festival, described as a ‘celebration of all things ocean-related’, is staged as a ‘giant interactive arts trail’ scattered across the Goldie’s most famous surf towns, from Burleigh Heads in the North down to Coolangatta. The event includes outdoor photo installations and indoor print exhibitions, along with film screenings, workshops and panel discussions, and other art exhibitions.

The program is heavy with legends of surf and ocean photography, as well as emerging talent. A taste of the photographers in the program includes Trent Mitchell, Ian and Erick Regnard, Clementine Bourke, Fiona Pyke, Tristam Evison, Peter ‘Joli’ Wilson, Mal Sutherland, Jordan Kier, Tam Grambeau, Shell Bankier, Franziska Link, Dick Hoole, Andrew Shield, Marty Tullemans, and Albert Falzon.

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Here is a sample of the photography-related events on show:

Photo: Ted Grambeau.

Ted Grambeau’s Waves of Consequence

The culmination of a lifetime behind the lens, Waves of Consequence is a collection of images exploring giant wave faces as an art form. Spanning several years, the collection includes Hawaii’s most recent 40ft swells that grabbed international headlines and triggered the Eddie Aikau Big Wave Invitational contest to run in January. As a collection of spectacular images, Waves of Consequence will showcase extreme surf from across the globe. The collection is one of the highest caliber of its kind any where in the realm of action and fine art photography.
May 1 – May 14
Dust Temple, Currumbin

Photo: Trent Mitchell.

Trent Mitchell x Mysa Hotel

Award-winning local photographer Trent Mitchell’s outdoor fenceline exhibition series will travel to a fresh new location in 2023. Palm Beach’s Mysa Hotel gets wrapped up by Flotsam Festival with a stunning collection of black & white images capturing the enduring beauty beyond sandy shores. ‘This collection of photographs have been taken no further than 10 minutes from my home in Bilinga and encompass everything I love about the ocean and coastal life in a mysterious, atmospheric and dramatic way,’ Trent Mitchell.
May 1 – May 14
Mysa Hotel, Palm Beach

If Walls Could Talk: Dick Hoole x The Pink Hotel

A site takeover of Coolangatta’s iconic Pink Hotel’s fenceline with a giant series of historic Gold Coast images from lens lord Dick Hoole.
May 1 – May 14
Pink Hotel, Coolangatta

Ian and Erick Regnard’s Floating Bits

Internationally acclaimed photographers Ian and Erick Regnard present their most recent collection of works, ‘floating bits’. Photographed in the crystal clear water of the Pacific Ocean, floating bits is inspired by the need to be alone, but knowing that there is a presence somehow lurking closer. The hauntingly beautiful images were taken underwater at Niue, a Pacific island east of Tonga. A complicated and challenging process, these images were taken one shot at a time and reloaded after each image, using a mix of large format 4×5 polaroid film and medium format film.
May 3 – May 13
Art-Work Studios, Mermaid Beach

Flotsam Now + Then Group Exhibition

Bending the space-time continuum with a trip through the eras. Kirra Hill Cultural and Community Centre gallery will play host to a group exhibition of surf images spanning from the 50’s to today, with photographers delving into their archives and harddrives to showcase the ‘superbank’ pre and post infamy. Featured photographers include: Mal Sutherland, Joli, Jordan Kier/Nugget Studios.

May 1 – May 14
Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre

Shell Bankier’s Element

Each of my photographic artworks has an inherent stillness and flow within, evoking a recognition of nature’s rhythmic architecture, be it sea or sky, water or wave. With visual simplicity and all connected by water, these works cut away from a definition, to become something other, relying on rich colour and either abstracted form or strong visual elements…a curve of wave spray across a white sky, white breaking waves caught in the moment of surrender.
May 1 – May 14
Barefoot Barista

Joli’s Full Day Surf Photography Masterclass

Join internationally-recognised surf photographer Peter ‘Joli’ Wilson for an exciting one-of-a-kind workshop that dives into the world of surfing photography. Joli is a top surf photographer who has been shooting the sport for more than 35 years. He brings his adventure photography skills and knowledge, as well as his experience with digital workflow to compliment the workshop.
May 6
Kirra Hill Community and Cultural Centre



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