Local artists have got 'on board' with a colourful fundraising initiative to help a surfing charity that makes the ocean accessible for everyone, regardless of age or disability.
An exhibition of old surfboards customised by local creatives will go on display at Fort Regent this Friday ahead of an auction to help Healing Waves buy more specialist adaptive and water sports equipment.
Islanders will have until 28 February to place bids for them.
Pictured: Healing Waves in action last summer.
With a reserve price of £350 each, they should help Healing Waves, who last summer helped 83 people, raise a minimum of £2,100.
The idea of the auction came out of the necessity to make use of donated boards the charity couldn't use. "We typically use foam boards when taking our athletes out for surf and paddle sessions," Max Wiltshire, one of the founding members of Healing Waves, explained.
"We wanted to create a unique fundraiser that could grow with us over the years to come, whilst captivating what we deliver as a service. At the Weekender in 2017 we had a friend and artist draw on a board to attract some interest and the rest, I guess, is history."
Pictured: Max Wiltshire, Dominic Booth and Seán Burke, the founders of Healing Waves.
Max described the artists' creations as "simply amazing", adding: "We sought out a variety of different artists in the hope of having a mix of styles for the exhibition and to showcase the talent within Jersey. I most definitely think this has been achieved.
"It means so much that each of them have given up their time and talents to help the Healing Waves mission. We do hope that 'The Art of Surfing' will help in raising awareness of what we deliver as a service and the benefits that Ocean/Surf therapy can hold."
While the day-to-day running of the charity currently has no cost, other than insurance and equipment, thanks to a dedicated 'family' of 30 volunteers, Max says the team is looking for funders to create a full-time service over the coming years as demand grows.
Pictured: The charity want to continue growing their service.
For now, they are continuing their FlowRider and water sensory play sessions throughout the winter at the Merton AquaDome. The team will then break in late March to prepare and train ahead of the summer season in May. Encouraging anyone with surf experience to volunteer, Max added: "Bring on the summer!"
"I wanted to use this opportunity to have fun with pushing the boundaries of what I can do using new techniques without losing my signature style and wanted to create a piece that would be complimentary to my existing artwork without necessarily being the same.
I liked the idea of turning a surfboard - something used to being rough and ready - into something rather fancy and selfishly something that I'd like to have on display in my own house!"
"When I get given something to work with I tend to know straight away what kind of design I want to have. Proportion and colour-wise, I had an idea the moment Healing Waves mentioned it. A lot of my work consists of concepts that are on my mind, this one I kind of freestyled and didn't want to make it too conceptual or about me, it's for Healing Waves!
"It was a pleasant process! I wanted to make it fun, bold and something that sits nicely with the charity, I just worked with vibes I've got from the guys so far! It doesn't have a name, I will give the new owner the chance to do that."
"When planning the design of my surfboard, I knew I wanted to celebrate the amazing work that 'Healing Waves' does, so I focused my design on how the charity affects many individuals experience with ocean therapy.
"There are so many beneficial properties that come from fully immersing yourself in nature, and when it comes to the sea it can feel amazing. I wanted to channel the sensation of freedom that I personally feel when I am in the water into my design, and with the use of bold lines and bright colours give it energy and power."
"For me surfing has always been about really great stories. When I think of Healing Waves I also think of a really great story filled with lots of other stories of people who have been inspired by their encounter with the ocean. So I've called my surfboard, 'The Amazing Story Board'.
"The energy, heat and flow is generated from the tail of the board and then bubbles up towards its heart, creating the power of the wave. This culminates in the truth that if a story is really inspiring - then it has to be a story shared."
"For this project, I thought it would be appropriate to name the board 'Face Your Fears'. First, I encourage you to view the board from afar, and then up close because your interpretation of it will change from different perspectives; let's see how many hidden faces and themes you can spot.
In my artwork, I enjoy depicting figures, facial portraits and the human form, and in this case my intention was to explore mental and physical wellbeing. Beyond the surreal and dreamlike imagery lies a deeper theme relating to the importance of supporting those around us, and ensuring they live a full and prosperous life.
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"'Face Your Fears' was not a planned piece; it was a splurge of spontaneous states of mind that combine to form a bigger picture, visible only to those who wish to see it."
"My thoughts are scattered, I've examined you for the hundredth time, overwhelmed with admiration for your power, beauty and scale. The untold mystery of the Ocean captivates us all. What words can I use to describe you? My dilemma, I find few words to accurately communicate you truly. The solution is through the use of visual communication.
"Who is she? Amphitrite; Goddess of the sea, wife of Poseidon and daughter of Oceanus. She is the embodiment of the third element. She is the sea. A representation of the wondrous and mysterious creatures, both real and mythological, that inhabit our oceans."
"Contemplating the sea, I decided to repurpose my board to create a 3D homage to the famous wood-block print 'The Great Wave off Kanagawa' by Hokusai.
"Using vinyl stickers from Captured Dreams, I wanted to make a stylised illustration that contrasted the ominous tide from the original print, with one that provides space, shelter and nourishment for its inhabitants.
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"Using the orcas as the seas guardians, I was hoping to remind us of the importance of the sea and its healing properties, whilst subtly alluding to the damage our lack of respect is doing to our oceans and the creatures within it."
Photos: Artists and Studio_M.
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