Inside Wollongong's Green Cathedral launch

An exhibition recognising and celebrating the South Coast’s rich surf culture and history has opened at Wollongong City Gallery.

The Green Cathedral, is a sprawling homage to surf culture, including contemporary surf art, classic boards and memorabilia, and photography and film.

Downstairs at the gallery, The Green Cathedral room includes a large wooden model of a wave, surrealist artwork, and a range of ceramic thongs from surfer Gerry Wedd.

Also downstairs is The Boardroom which features South Coast surfer Terry Richardson’s world championships, hand-shaped boards and well-loved rashies.

The Boardroom includes a 1930s plywood toothpick board and 1950s balsa model, and the first board shaped in the new Skipp factory in 1970. There are also trophies from homegrown champions Mick Lowe, Pam Burridge, Sally Fitzgibbons, Owen Wright and Dylan Longbottom.

Upstairs in the gallery, decades of surf photography is documented in Shooting The Curl, with dozens of images of the region’s iconic coastline and surf breaks.

Curator Milly Hyde said the South Coast had long been a hot spot for beach bums and serious surf safaris, but the surfing talent in the region sometimes went overlooked.

‘‘It’s not always as well known, and the aim of the show is for the people of Wollongong to recognise and celebrate surf culture and history,’’ she said.

‘‘Surfing is like a big family and I think the show will bring it all together.’’

The exhibition runs until March 2.

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