Step back into a Golden Age.
John Witzig’s A Golden Age exhibition may be the nearest thing you’ll find to a surfing time machine. Wander around the gallery at the Bondi Pavilion and it almost feels like you are standing on the headland at Angourie in the 1970s, wearing a pastel jumper and checking the surf, or watching Nat Young swoop off the bottom at Honolua Bay, or standing alongside Bob McTavish as he contemplates a glorious Noosa lineup with nobody out.
Witzig was a dynamic operator, shooting high-tempo water shots, timeless, pulled-back lineups and revealing lifestyle portraits at a time when every facet of surf culture was expressive and evolving rapidly – boards, performance, fashion and music. Perhaps it is our tendency to idealise bygone eras, but something about John’s images make you want to jump right back into that world.
The exhibition runs at the Bondi Pavilion until the 22nd September and if you fall under the spell of a classic image (which you well might) John has plenty of prints on hand for sale. If you are nearby it’s well worth checking out and momentarily stepping back into a Golden Age.