Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Sustainability in Surfing

Having bowled up to the Eden Project more than a couple of times it’s always good to have a reason to visit the giant biomes other than to see if the Titan arum (aka the stinking flower) has bloomed to exceed the previous year’s heady heights of 164 cm or whatever its current record is.

Last week saw the opening of a new exhibition highlighting sustainability in surfing which showcases the striking artwork of Ben Cook whilst raising awareness of the murkier side of the sport that’s inherent in the many surf-related objects that are non bio-degradable and toxic.

The main focus of the exhibition is an original VW Westfalia camper with surfboards and wetsuits trailing out of the back, based on a 1969 installation by Joseph Beuyes’s that explored human survival in the face of technological failure. The original work had 24 sleds falling from the rear of a camper van with each sled having a roll of fat strapped to it for warmth, a lump of animal fat for energy and a torch for direction.

Ben has swapped the sled for surfboards, the felt for wetsuits, the animal fat for surf wax and the original flashlights have been replaced with tide tables to represent survival and direction. In addition to The Pack 2008 you can also view further exhibits in The Core where groundbreaking sustainable materials being developed by Cornish companies such as Homeblown Surfboards and Sustainable Composites, have been used to create wall-based abstract ‘landscape paintings’.

In an interview with the utterly brilliant Stranger magazine Ben Cook said: “I want to raise awareness of ecological issues relevant to the surfing community through my work.” The whole exhibition highlights the serious environmental consequences of surfing becoming an increasing popular leisure activity across the world in the 21st century.

The exhibition runs at The Eden Project. until September 4 and Ben's stylish eco-friendly landscape paintings are available to purchase.


Garett said...


love the blog. would love to flow you a pair of shoes.

this is the only way i get through.


garett at

Beach Bum said...

Saw the original Beuys installation at Tate Modern and I quite like this "homage". I used to live near the town where Beuys was born in Germany ... and my grandfather shot down one of the Stukas that he flew during the war. They don't like it up 'em, they do not like it up 'em.