A Click in Time
Australia’s Centenary of Australian Surfing Photography 1911-2011 Exhibition
The Yamba Museum had the privilege of hosting and celebrating Australia’s Centenary of Australian Surfing Photography Exhibition from December 2012 to February 2013.
The exhibition took 18 months in the planning and had over 70 Australian professional and amateur photographers contributing their work to form the historic collection (100 images) that were gifted to the Yamba Museum at the end of the exhibition. Coordinator Debrah Novak said, “I am very happy with the extent of the photographic contributions. Some of the many highlights include:-
- First female surfer Isabel Letham with the Duke at Freshie
- The headless McTavish
- Andy Irons, Layne Beachley and Kelly Slater
- Kamikaze photographers at Cyclops and Shipsterns
- Classic Bobby Brown and a very stylish John Skipp
- Blood and Guts with the Byron Bay wharf intact circa 1963, shot on a box brownie
Also on display were vintage and retro camera gear and cover photos from the first Surfing World and Surf About magazines.
The newly updated museum display Ride the Wild Surf coincides with the exhibition A Click in Time. This display depicts the local surfing scene from the 1960s, an amazing period that tested the conservatism of a small fishing village to becoming mainstream and part of our beach culture.
It all began when a young and rebellious generation infuriated surf club officials, disappointed parents, captivated the media with their bad attitudes, fibreglass boards, rock’n’roll, cars and drugs. Part of the appeal was that surfing was a new sport that was enjoyed individually with the convergence of adrenaline and skill while hanging out with friends and adopting a very social and unique lifestyle. For many surfing was a way of life.
Very few museums or individuals are dedicated to preserving surfing’s history, therefore finding surfboards and related material to help preserve our own beach culture and surfing history was challenging until local surfer Trevor Skinner agreed to loan a portion of his collection to the museum for this display. Each photograph and surfboard has its own special memories and history that represents the beginning of the golden era to ride the wild surf.
This exhibition ran from December 2012 to the end of January 2013 during the summer school holidays. It was a resounding success and all proceeds were donated to the Yamba Museum and the Disabled Surfers Association.