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The Trailer Project :: The Lure of the Sea
11 May - 19 May 2018
The Quad

Australia is a huge country, not very populated, the flows are slow. Living in a small town in northern NSW, the idea of a mobile gallery dedicated to bring Art into public spaces germinated.

The Trailer is an exhibition space devoted to encouraging all disciplines -  painting, photography and/or installations. It is also a mobile projection unit allowing for outdoor slide-shows or movie and video presentations. Inspired by the history of mobile movie theaters, the trailer project reaches near and far communities and in the process creates a reciprocated exchange of ideas.

The Lure of the Sea

The Lure of the Sea consists of four solo exhibitions: Bob Cooper, John Witzig, Alby Falzon, Dick Hoole.

It is a look on Australian surf culture from the 1950s to the 1970s, drawing on original photos shot by influential figures within the surfing world. All these photographers are – and were – essentially surfers. When these images were made, it was not about exploring the road-movie genre, or even aiming at documenting their lives. It was simply about their common passion, their original and pioneering lifestyle, and their strong sense of belonging to an outcast, close-knit community.

Bob Cooper

11 May - 19 May

Memories, Guethary, France. In 1969, my grandmother gave me the most beautiful present I have ever received: a brand new sparkling surfboard. It was a Barland (French surfboard company). On the deck of the board, was a logo: the portrait of a bearded man with sunglasses, with the look of an eccentric hippy. It was the shaper of the board, Bob Cooper. Over the years, waxing this board, I saw this face fading away little by little. In 2005, working on the exhibition Magicians of the Sea to be shown in the Australian Centre of Photography, someone mentioned to me that Bob was living near Noosa. I called him and the day after, I was driving toward the Sunshine Coast. After a little talk, he pointed to an old trunk and asked me if I wished to have a look at his archives. This exhibition showcases a selection of photographs I saw this day.

Bob Cooper was born in 1938, he started surfing Rincon and Malibu in California in the early 1950s when surf shacks were still dotting the beach and enjoyed the sport before the onslaught of commercialism. He was one of the first American surfers to visit Australia (1959) and to take permanent residence. Bob had a strong influence on Australian surfing and surfboards. After working with a few Australian surfboard companies, he starts in 1970 Cooper surfboards in Coffs Harbour, NSW, and became the first Australian surfboard manufacturer to promote indigenous surfers. In 1993, Bob Cooper moved to the Sunshine Coast where he still lives.

Text by Pierre Chevalier, Curator of The Trailer Project

 

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