Australian Surf Art: Why We Still Love It In 2022

Australian surf art: Sunrise Beach - Art-By-Simone

The Sunshine Coast in Queensland is an inspiring place to create Australian surf art! Living by an ocean beach is a forever changing canvas, and as each season progresses, so do many aspects of the beautiful coastline! It is quite fitting for local artists including myself to be inspired by the ocean.
This year was the 21st year of Surf Art Expo on the Sunshine Coast, celebrating local surf art by local artists, surf culture and community. I was honoured to be recognised and invited to showcase some of my digital art from the “Sunshine Coast” series alongside exceptionally talented local surf artists! And not only are they talented, but they are some of the most kind-hearted and inspiring people, each with their own story to tell through their art journey.
Australian surf art can be expressed in so many different forms and styles. While spending the week at an art expo in Coolum Beach strolling the gallery space, it opened my eyes to just how much creatives can capture with the common theme “ocean” so uniquely. It was inspiring and beautiful. From sculptures using reclaimed driftwood, recycled timber and locally sourced materials, to glass art and mosaics! From spectacular ocean photography and paintings in various media on canvas and paper showcasing the power, beauty and tranquility of the ocean, to surfboard and skate deck art, all so different and stunning to see!
Surf Art Expo was an important art event for me personally. It was my first art event launch here on the Sunshine Coast, and I’m very thankful to gallery owners Owen and Natasha for giving me the opportunity and the confidence to share my art and get involved. I think everyone is their own hardest critic, and although a little self-critique can be healthy, often it can stop you moving forward and getting out into the world. It’s very easy to hide behind a canvas or, in my case, an iPad and Apple pencil! Introducing yourself as an artist to a community is very different to sharing your art online! These days we are very lucky to have a choice, and I’m most grateful for that.
I think the pursuit for belonging in life is a strong human drive! Whether it be family, a circle of friends, or a community, I think we are naturally drawn to socially connect with people. The Surf Art Expo experience has opened my doors to an art community of like-minded people. I feel lucky to have met such a talented group of artists with a shared passion. Not only a passion for art and the ocean, but a passion for championing the success of fellow artists and for the community! Now that’s an inspiring group to belong to!
The love of surf art brought the communities on the Sunshine Coast together. A vast range of art with a common connection: “ocean”. This is a reminder of how powerful art can be, and how it is a powerful mechanism for connecting people with people, and with the broader community! Surfs up! Time to hit the beach to create some more surf art!
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Alex Mileham