RIDE FROM SNAPPER TO KIRRA BECOMES ART PIECE
Saturday, 19 January 2013

Celebrating coastal culture through a series of creative events, the Gold Coast's annual surf culture festival Bleach* unveiled the remainder of its expansive program at a VIP launch evening at Currumbin overnight.
Central to the 2013 festival is The Longest Wave, a conceptual theme based on a real life local story. The Longest Wave refers to a wave ridden by surfer Damon Harvey from Snapper Rocks to North Kirra a distance of just under 2 kms back in 2002.

At the time the feat was lauded by surf media around the world as one of the longest continual ocean waves ever ridden, but the remarkable ride had slipped into dusty realms of surfing folk law until surf author Tim Baker and Bleach* Festival Director Louise Bezzina decided the story begged a revisit.

The Longest Wave Photographic Exhibition will examine the history of the area Damon's wave covered through a community exhibition curated by Michael Aird and Tim Baker. From stunning modern images by some of the nation's most respected surf photographers to family photos taken at the turn of the century, this exhibition serves as a photographic journey into the rich beach culture of southern beaches.

The exhibition will also feature video interviews with local surfing identities including Damon, current world champions Joel Parkinson and Stephanie Gilmore and a host of colourful residents as they share stories and recollections of the region.

The Longest Wave Coastal Walk will fuse elements of street theatre to a guided tour of the area spanned by Damon's ride, while The Longest Wave Installation will interpret Damon's ride artistically, with celebrated local artists responding to the theme and their own understanding and engagement with the immediate environment, local history and folk law.

Wrapping up the festival will be the Bleach* Last Wave featuring Mat. McHugh & The Seperatista Sound System and a debut preview of exciting new film project Spirit of Akasha, a 40th anniversary celebration of seminal surf movie Morning Of The Earth. Featuring local surf stars like Stephanie Gilmore and Mick Fanning, the film harks back to a time when single fins ruled supreme, and will be accompanied by a live soundtrack by filmmaker Andrew Kidman and his band The Windy Hills.

This event heralds the end of Bleach* Festival and the opening weekend of the Quicksilver Pro on the exclusive Surfer's Deck directly on the sand at Snapper.

Music fans can also enjoy Bleach* After Parties at Neverland, the Sunday Session at Currumbin Elephant Rock Cafe featuring Nat Dunn, and a wave of musical happenings at the Gold Coast Bulletin Bleach* Hub.

Art enthusiasts can take in the captivating work of famed surf artist Potts at Cafe D'Bar, ponder the connection between art and sport at the Basil Seller's Art Prize 3 at The Art Centre Gold Coast, marvel at the Surfboards Dreaming display by shaper Ralph Riddel, and celebrate the feminine side of surf art at Surfsister Kaleidoscope at Coolangatta's Kallalu gallery.

Ocean lovers can connect with the historical roots of local surfing with the exhibition Surfing In The 50's and 60's at Currumbin's Surf World Museum, delve into the complexities of current state of the surf industry at the public forum Salts And Suits hosted by author Phil Jarratt, experience the forefront of ideas from surf tourism and industry experts from around the world at the Global Surf Cities Conference, and rub shoulders with surf coaching elite at Surfing Australia's Green Room Conference.

And for cultural cravers, Bleachside Flicks will bring a range of free outdoor movies by the beach from 7pm for five big nights beginning the 27th of February presented by FuelTV and Patagonia.

Festival goers can can also expand their horizons by taking part in new experiences at events like Sandpanthers Slam, a night of open mic poetry for poets of all genres, or explore meditation at The Moving Place and its fusion with music at (Be) Coming Home, or visit the East Coast Whale Watch to discover more about the movements of the humpback whale.

The Gold Coast Bulletin Bleach* Hub will also feature a variety of workshops and the ability to work remotely from the festival at Coworking by the Beach, a free WIFI enabled work space overlooking the ultimate office at Coolangatta beach. In the vein of TED and South by South West, Coworking by the Beach will also host The Rethink Conference featuring leading thinkers, performers and innovators from all walks of life exploring themes around innovation and inspiration.

Rethink will be held from 9am-4pm on Saturday 23 February with keynote speakers including Lyndon Terracini, Director of Opera Australia, Alex Hillman, Founder of Indy Hall in Philadelphia, Tony Bacigalupo, CEO of New Work City, New York and futurist Craig Rispin and a host of other great minds in a space designed by one of the companies behind Google's new offices in London.

Festival Director Louise Bezzina said the addition of these events to the festival's already burgeoning program would ensure Bleach* 2013 offered something for everyone. "Our previous announcements covered everything for family-friendly children's events to rock concerts with some of Australia's best alternative acts.

I think this final round of event announcements broadens the festival's appeal even further, offering ocean lovers from all walks of life a way to engage with coastal culture through creative expression in a variety of forms."

www.bleachfestival.com.au



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