Newsletter Archives

December 2011


John Witzig

These are (mostly) pictures you've never seen...

26 November - 18 December

'I had privileged access to some of the great of Australian surfing from the mid-1960s until, maybe about 1978. I was working for surfing magazines through much of this period, and many of the people in these pages were then, and remain, my friends.

The photographs here are the ones that haven't made the cut previously, or that I've noticed in the meantime... pictures that didn't seem important when they were taken but have attracted my attention some 40 years later. Mostly it's because they seem to capture the spirit of those times.. times irrevocably gone.

The pictures that I like most now are the ones around surfing. I recognised most of the major surfing pictures that I took back then, but I never saw the picture of the barbecue in the backyard of the Wilderness factory at Palmerts Channel, and I should've. Or the one of Baddy and Owl in the car park at the Bower while the Coke contest was on one year. That's pretty funny... I never noticed them on a proof sheet, and I didn't anticipate the significance that they seem to have acquired with the passage of time.

Most of this stuff was shot for a tiny sub-cultural world that was called 'surfing'. No one else saw it. No one. It's interesting (to me anyway) that it's now being viewed through a social history prism. I have to admit that we were pretty terrific (joke).' JOHN WITZIG

This exhibition is accompanied by a full colour catalogue. For details, click here.

Russell Hughes at North Avalon - 1960s
John Witzig