'Surfboard graveyard' photo nails top prize

Rodney Campbell’s picture of 1000 Surfboard Graveyard, a dramatic installation of broken surfboards at Garie Beach,
Rodney Campbell’s picture of 1000 Surfboard Graveyard, a dramatic installation of broken surfboards at Garie Beach,

A haunting picture of a ‘‘surfboard graveyard’’ at Garie Beach has won the people’s choice category at the Australian Life photo competition, part of Art and About Sydney. 

Sydney landscape photographer Rodney Campbell was looking for interesting rocks or trees when he instead stumbled on 1000 Surfboard Graveyard - a mammoth art installation by Minnamurra surfer Chris Anderson - in the early hours of December 1.

His photo shows 1000 broken boards, each lit with a candle, minutes before sunrise.

‘‘I arrived in the dark with two other friends,’’ Mr Campbell said.

‘‘We walked up to the beach and up the northern end - way away in the distance - we could see lights on the beach. We had no idea what it was. It was just kind of serendipity that we arrived and [Mr Anderson] happened to have his display there that night.’’

Anderson spent two and a half years collecting broken boards before he part-buried the pieces at Garie Beach - tombstone style - as a tribute to the tragedy of a broken board and a comment on the quantity of waste being sent to landfill.

He took a truckload of the broken boards into the Royal National Park site with the permission of authorities but by the next day - as per his agreement - they were gone.

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