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Peninsula Surf Sisters Art 2021

I started creating art for the Peninsula Surf Sisters last summer. I’d been chatting with some friends about the need for a space for women that surf on the peninsula to connect. Turned out I wasn’t the only one feeling that way. Sarah and Jess had been talking about exactly this, so when the chance came to help out I was over the moon to do so. To create art for a community that has so many beautiful values, to uplift each other, support one another and simply come together, has been a dream. You know when something just works or fits - it feels so good. PSS has had that about it from the beginning, a flow, an energy of its own.

I created this piece for one of the t-shirts. A celebration of salt water women - I wanted to include all types of surfers and their styles, all kinds of bodies, all sorts of levels and different types of waves. A piece of art to show the communities inclusivity as well as a reminder that the ocean does not discriminate.

Interview for Peninsula Surf Sisters

How long have you been surfing for?

It depends what you call surfing. Technically I’ve been going surfing since I moved back to Australia 10 years ago. For a long time I felt like a complete imposter and wouldn’t have said that I “surfed”. That’s what I love about this group, we’re trying to create a feeling of belonging and inclusivity. I moved to Mornington Peninsula about 5 years ago that’s when I reeeally got into surfing, I was hooked.

How did you begin?

I grew up in Ireland mostly, far from the surf lifestyle that Dad sometimes talked about. I remember him showing me photo albums of surf trips and we had a framed picture of Bells beach on our wall. He missed it and I’d day dream about it. For some reason (nothing got to do with puberty of course) I felt like the opposite of what I had would be better. This and films like Lords of Dog Town, what teenage girl wouldn’t want to be part of all that hotness!!

What board do you ride?

I ride my 9’6” mostly, I also have an 8’6”. So ya, it’s either long board or longboard for me. Why make things difficult hey!

What’s your favourite break on the ninch?

Over the past two years I’ve had the pleasure of living on Marine Parade in Shoreham so any break along there… Truthfully though, and without being cryptic Honey’s is where I’ve had my best surfs over that time. Such a strange thing, talking about breaks - like sharing your love for something means that it’ll get taken away. You can all blame me for the Summer crowds at Honey’s now ;)

What do you do when you’re not surfing? (this can either be a personal answer, or an opportunity to share if you run a local business, happy to link...whatever you feel! )

I’m an artist so I think a lot and paint sometimes. I work from my studio in Shoreham, my art is inspired by the natural world - the feminine form. I create as a way of connecting to the world around me, unraveling beliefs I may have about this body and space we inhabit. I use fluid line work guiding the viewers eye throughout an art piece. Many of the pieces I’ve worked on over these lock downs have been self studies, to understand others I feel it is important to begin with ourselves. Over the years I’ve also created “surf art”, I guess being inspired my my surroundings, this land and ocean, my community it would be hard not to. I’m also an apiarist, working with bee’s along side my Dad. This is something that’s been passed down four generations now and it feels important to learn in the hopes of passing it on.

What does surfing mean to you?

Surfing means I get to spend time in (as part of) nature. It’s simply a fun way of moving my body and to be honest not many other types of exercise grab me. A way of being present, out there I can’t possible do anything else so there’s no point thinking about it either. And although I only really ride small waves its my thrill, my excitement, joy, whatever you want to call it - my way of feeling alive, of pushing myself and comfort zones a little, of seeing my self improve at something. Surfing is my way of feeling the rhythm of the natural world.

If you had to share one piece of wisdom surfing has taught you, what would it be?

Probably that progress isn’t linear, life is not an upwards succession of events where we get better, acquire more, feel forever content. There are so many variables in surfing and in life that make a time what it is, good or bad. There are no guarantees and to focus on the outcome is missing the point. It reminds me to let go of control.

There are also limited edition, fine art prints available of this work. Shop.


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