JOHN WITZIG PHOTOGRAPHS

AVALON RECREATION CENTRE: 59 Old Barrenjoey Road, Avalon Beach, NSW 2107 5–7 OCTOBER 2019

John Witzig misspent his youth on Sydney’s northern beaches. He started surfing there and in his later teenage years was taking photographs of the world he was a part of.

The archive covers approximately a fifteen-year period… from the mid-1960s until 1980. It includes the first great hero of Australian surfing, Midget Farrelly, and is especially rich in documenting the beginnings of what would become the shortboard revolution… being lead by Witzig’s friends, Bob McTavish, Nat Young and George Greenough.

“Viewed simply as a representation of an alternative culture of the 1970s, Witzig’s photographs were valid and intriguing even back then. But viewed with today’s eyes, they seem almost impossibly innocent and idealistic, like looking at a remote tribe of wild-haired boys just discovered by anthropologists for the National Geographic.”

Robert Drewe