Sons of Beaches

I’ve decided to make a selection of images from my “Sons of Beaches” project available via Red Bubble. “Sons of Beaches” is a part-documentary, part-artistic project I have been undertaking over the last two years while documenting surf life-saving events and activities in WA.

Sons of Beaches’ focuses on re-representing an image that is iconic Australian – the photographs present different ways of viewing, presenting and thinking about surf-lifesaving as a tradition or institution that is traditionally masculine, even militaristic.

The project is called ‘Sons of Beaches’ because I wanted to examine the way the icon constructs and presents certain ways of thinking about ‘masculinity’. What I want to do is to look for different ways of viewing, presenting and, thus, thinking about surf-lifesaving as a tradition or institution. Not necessarily challenging established beliefs about the icon but creating visuals that ask viewers to look at surf-lifesaver as something beyond the stereotype.

In ‘Sons of Beaches’, I want to catch the more human aspects of these events – aspects that might make people stop and stare, and wonder, even if for a moment, about what they are seeing. Sometimes, there is humour is the images; it is to humanise the icon – when you can laugh at or with someone, you’re acknowledging him or her as a peer, rather than as something which is objectified and distanced, which is what usually happens with icons.

Anyway, hopefully you’ll enjoy these images.

Journal Comments

  • Karen Cougan
  • Stephen Humpleby
  • Seng Mah