“LEIMALO” a Surf Exhibition will be opening at 5pm, on April 12, 2017 at Fondation Suzanne Bastien Gallery on Pango Road.
Featuring works by Narsong Taleo (painting and hand planes), Gideon from “Arudali Designs” (designs on surfboards), Arlene Bax (photography), Peter Carroll (photography), Marie St Hilaire (watercolours), Simon Camm Pettiford (maker of “Alaia”, traditional Hawaiian surfboards) and more. The exhibition celebrates and explores the strong connection surfing in Vanuatu has with community, culture and life through art.
The show also marks the opening of the Vanuatu Surf Association 2017 Vanuatu Leimalo Surf Festival, Vanuatu’s premier domestic surf competition which is open to international competitors.
The Vanuatu Surfing Association comprises a large number of local Ni-Vanuatu as well as expatriate Australian, New Zealand and French citizens. It provides opportunities for competition, surf and non surf related training and education, international travel and advocacy on environmental and social issues that effect the communities VSA work with. VSA works closely with local communities, with a specific focus on youth and females to create social good through the stoke and joy of surfing.
In Vanuatu, the expression “Leimalo” comes from the local language of Pango. It is sung out to the ocean while surfing asking for a good wave to come.
There is a unique connection and relationship with the ocean in surfing, a playground which cannot be manufactured or owned but enjoyed and feared with great respect. Whilst there is some conjecture about surfing’s origins, it is believed to have begun with our nearby Polynesian neighbours.
This initial culture directly influenced modern surfing, which began to flourish and evolve in the early 20th century. It continues to progress and spread throughout the world and has at times affected popular fashion, music, literature, films, art, language, and more. It is a culture that includes the people, and lifestyle surrounding the sport of surfing.