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Reproduced courtesy of Phillip George

Eden 2008 surfboard

Date: 2008
Overall: 2130 x 520 x 70 mm
Medium: Digital decal, fibreglass and polystyrene
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Phillip George
Object Name: Surfboard
Object No: 00045867

User Terms

    The iconography on the surfboard is Ottoman tile motifs of the Garden of Eden photographed by the artist in a mosque in the Middle East. The original colour and shape of the decoration has bee modified to fit into the shape of the surfboard. The use of burnt orange and yellow is a reference to the Australian landscape and beach.

    This surfboard is from the installation BORDERLANDS created by Phillip George in 2008. George transformed 30 surfboards into sacred objects of veneration. The surfboards are familiar as their shapes are recognisable and everyday and could be found easily at Maroubra or Cronulla. The boards stand vertically and occupy space in a grid evenly spaced like a forest of totemic signs facing east towards Mecca. In a post Cronulla Sydney, the idyllic notion of the beach being the great social equaliser has been shattered and the beach can never be the same innocent site of pleasure.

    The surfboard and surfing culture is iconically Australian as it represents a self perception of freedom, albiet an illusion, of a happy go lucky culture free of constraints. Riding the wave transcends both time and space and for that moment the surfer can stand outside of time and experience an appreciation of the infinite. Surfing is both transformative in its potential and meditative in its possibilities. It is in this context that George negotiates East and West in relation to local implications of global conflict, distilled and evaluated through surfing metaphors to cross a border between the familiar and unfamiliar, the known local and the foreign other stranger and between the secular and the fear of Islam.

    SignificanceThis surfboard is representative of digital artwork created by Australian artist Phillip George and was part of his installation BORDERLANDS 2008.

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