Gerry Wedd & Ripped Off Exhibitions Opening Night

Published by: Coofs Harbour Art Gallery | 14-Feb-2019
The draw of the ocean and the free-spirit of surfing, particularly in the 1960s and 70s, underlies the two exhibitions coming up at Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery: Gerry Wedd Kitschen Man and Ripped Off: Gerry's been doing it for years "¦ it's about time someone else got in on the act. In these exhibitions, some of Australia's leading artists - who also happen to surf - play with the imagery and folklore of surf culture, at the same time "taking the piss" and highlighting the humour, irreverence and anarchy that pervades the scene.
Venue: Coffs Harbour Art Gallery
Address: Cnr Coff & Duke Streets
Date: Friday 8th March 2019
Time: 6-8pm
Ticket: FREE
Buy / Ticket:
Call: 66484863
You've probably seen Gerry Wedd's art even if you're not aware of it. In the late 1980s, as a young surfer (five-time South Australian surf champion) and artist, Wedd came to the attention of Mambo Graphics, the iconoclastic surf-wear company. With his sense of humour, subject matter, encyclopaedic knowledge of surfing culture and distinctive 'scratch board' style of drawing, Wedd found a spiritual home at Mambo and helped create its unique ethic. Working for Mambo until 2006, Wedd designed t-shirts and other clothing, posters, ceramics, metalwork and surfboards.

Choosing ceramics as his predominant artistic vehicle, Wedd draws his craft out of his personal inspirations, interest and experiences. It seems fitting (or is it ironic?) that Wedd's two predominant pastimes are elementally different yet perfectly paired in the complexity vs simplicity that nature present us with. Drawn to the ocean and the unpredictability of the sea, Gerry surfs almost every day, while his craft-practice gives him a grounded space (working literally with earth) calling for more measured decisions and outcomes.

Kitschen Man includes new works influenced by the ceramics collection at the V&A museum in London, studied by Wedd on a recent Australia Council Residency, as well as quintessentially "Gerry" pieces from a career spanning close to 40 years. The exhibition also features works from his ever-changing personal collection of inspirations: work made by family, friends, colleagues and mentors.

Surfing magazines and particularly the images of iconic surf photographer John Witzig are key inspirations of Gerry's. In the accompanying exhibition Ripped Off, Gerry and fellow Mambo artist Robert Moore, along with Jon Campbell, Ozzie Wrong and John Witzig himself, delve into Witzig's extraordinarily rich archive to create new artworks exclusively for Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery. Prepare for a free-wheeling and subversive ride through surfing's "golden age".

February is also the time that Still: National Still Life Award opens for entries. Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery's signature program, Still has established itself as one of Australia's most exciting contemporary art prizes by opening the award to artworks in all mediums. 2017 judge Lisa Slade, Assistant Director of the Art Gallery of South Australia, described Still as 'a game changer "¦ Still has placed the still life genre at the heart of contemporary art practice. There is a real sense that something new is happening here." Over $20,000 is offered in prize money and the award is open to artists at all stages of their careers. For more information and to enter online visit

Coffs Harbour Regional Gallery is located on the corner of Coff and Dukes Streets and is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. Free admission.

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