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Reproduced courtsey of Thomas Avery, Senior

Crabs in River

Date: 2000
Overall: 2500 x 530 x 150 mm, 6 kg
Medium: Fibreglass, foam, paint
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Object Copyright: © Tom Avery, Senior
Object Name: Surfboard
Object No: 00030848
Place Manufactured:Ulladulla

User Terms

    This triple-finned custom made longboard was shaped and glassed by Brian Kellway, owner of BK Surfboards, Ulladulla, NSW with the assistance of Thomas Avery Jnr. The design was painted by Indigenous artist Thomas Avery Snr using the traditional dot painting method.
    SignificanceThe surfboard is custom made with a unique Indigenous work of art.
    HistoryTom Avery Snr has hand-painted this board with a traditional dot design that incorporates six blue swimmer crabs. Tom is a descendant of the Kamilaroi of northern New South Wales. His Aboriginal name is Bagaay, a Kamilaroi word meaning river or creek.

    It took one week to make the board and then another week to shape it. The process that then followed was for a layer of fibreglass to be laid over the foam base; Tom Avery's artwork was then applied; the whole was then given a protective layer of Protex; and a second layer of fibreglass was applied. The final process was to buff the board.

    Surfing is a popular sport and past-time on Australian beaches, and an area where Australians have excelled in competition and surfboard design since the 1950s.
    Around coastal Australia, surfing is seen as a significant cultural practice, and integral to our sense of national identity. However, surfing commonly represents the nation as white and heterosexual. Indigenous surfing has gained momentum and a higher profile since the inaugural Billabong Indigenous Invitational in 1993. This has not only increased the level of professionalism in the sport amongst Aboriginal surfers, it has provided an oppositional view of nation and country that reinscribes the beach with cultural meanings specific to Aboriginal cultures.

    The longboard was introduced to Australia in 1956 by visiting American surf lifesavers; such boards provide more stability in the surf.
    Additional Titles

    Web title: Crabs in River

    Primary title: Handpainted longboard

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