Young girl creates stunning artworks on surfboards.
Holly Ogden makes us think twice before throwing that slightly bronzed surfboard away.
Words by Holly Ogden.
Growing up on the Northern beaches of Perth, Western Australia, I was always by the ocean. After moving here from Manchester, England at a young age, I couldn’t stay away from the beach. I trained in surf life saving at a young age and as I got older, working a 9-5, my mind constantly wandered and wondered why can’t life be a beach? I made a drastic change in my life and decided if I loved surfing, diving, creating and the ocean so much; why couldn’t I be surrounded by it all day?
I spent four years traveling and living in Indonesia and Thailand painting wall murals, ukuleles, guitars, surfboards, surfing ,swimming with sharks and turtles and completing my dive master certification. Alongside meeting incredible people and drinking countless fresh coconuts.
I began creating my art work to express myself and tell a story of the travel life I was leading. As my art progressed and I self-taught, I was amazed by the response I started to receive from everyone I crossed paths with in the surf and dive community.Everyone I met had the same mentality, interests and outlook that I have. Fellow travelers and business owners began requesting my work for their boards and walls and I was realizing that people were really enjoying what I made.
The love and pure content when you’re on the surface or 30m down is like nothing else. I don’t believe anything can feel that good. Not only are you at one with nature, but you’re a part of it too and you’re not just observing the wildlife, you’re one of them; it’s so primitive and electric.That’s the feeling I want to convey with my art work- when you look at it – nostalgic in a way.
Our oceans are in danger from pollution and other factors but were so quick to focus on the negatives. It’s important to know facts and be conscious of them,but positivity is vital to instill change. Because if you love something you want to protect it, right? Spread love for ouroceans and people will fight for them.
I want people to look at my work at feel all fuzzy inside, the exact feeling I get when I create it or when you surf or dive. I use pre loved boards mainly as they tell a story of their own. Each piece takes a huge chunk of time, dewaxing the used boards, sanding, priming, painting and glossing. I paint with self-taught techniques with a very small brush by hand to create the effects alongside posca pens and some spray paint.
My current collection of surfboards and guitars is on display at red cloud art space, Yallingup, in the Margaret River region of Western Australia. I am constantly creating and making new pieces. I believe what you paint on is just as important as what you paint. Using surfboards, guitars and other objects as my canvas, helps people realise my vision and understand myjourney. I am currently painting a wall mural in my home, the outside of a caravan and always have at least 5 surfboards at different stages of completion. Stay tuned!
You can follow Holly on Instagram @artgypsea and don’t forget to check out her website at artgypsea.com.