Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world, no doubt. However, Paris is beige, full of concrete within a competitive environment. Two weeks ago, I went to the south west of France, Hossegor to be precise, and I immersed myself within the French natural landscape, fresh air from the sea, mountains, and the most important thing: a surfer mindset.
I spent a week with artists, musicians and people who are concerned about preserving the ocean, all surfers, and I got completely inspired by the soft palette of colors, relaxed sense of community and cooperation. A new universe opened for my mind.
The week was planned by the creative agency Montebelo, directed by the German surfers David Vogdt and Johannes Fürst, who organized a charity concert for the Surfrider Foundation Europe with the Californian band “Allah-Las“.
On a beautiful and shiny summer Sunday, surfers started the day going to the beach looking for the perfect wave. They seemed to be in a meditative state of mind, empowered by the solitude and magnitude of this sport.
The surf was followed by a barbecue on the backyard made in a collective way, putting us all together to celebrate life and friendship. With a terrific sunset, the band Allah-Las played, under the open sky, their melancholic but sill happy songs for more than 250 people, ending this perfect day. (see the video below).
On another day, we came to visit the office of the Surfrider Foundation Europe in Biarritz, a nonprofit organization “dedicated to defending, saving, improving and managing in a sustainable manner the ocean, coastline, waves and the people who enjoy them”. During the visit, I got impressed to discover how little things can pollute a big quantity of water. At the Surfrider office, a box is exposed representing in reality the big amount of water that can get polluted by two “innocent” cigarette butts, for example.
Maybe as a reflection of the global warming, we also got rainy and cold days during the week, not a big problem when you also have the mountains so close to you.
Going to the “campagne” accompanied by the artist and surfer Quentin, we got the opportunity to paint on boards with sprays.
Quantin is an artist who started to paint in the middle 90’ in abandoned places. Nowadays living behind the dunes in Hossegor, he still does graffiti and stickers on the streets, but also incredible work on canvas based in different themes related with the sea.
One of Quentin’s serie named, “ Eat me Tuna”, is a protest against the over fishing of tuna. Tuna use to eat jellyfishes, and jellyfish are a hazard for surfers. So, when there is less tuna in the sea, more jellyfish are proliferating.
Another serie of Quantin’s art work, is made by all garbage that he found on the beaches, showing how polluted the sea is. (soon a full article about Quentin’s work inspired by the sea).
I also hung out with another surfer artist Tito Tomasi, who spends half of the year surfing and the other half mountain biking, all the time painting around, with the theme: Vive La vie. (discover more about Tito’s journey at his website)
This afflatus week experience in one of the most preserved places in France, a paradise for surfers, made me realize the importance of spreading the idea, trough my work, of preservation and the importance of the natural, organic and sustainable lifestyle.
In an artistic way, what most impressed me was the palette of colors, all inspired by nature, showing how people connected with the sea see the world. Aquamarine, azure, turquoise, capri, saffron, earth yellow, champagne, Caribbean green…. everything soft, natural and peaceful, above all.
Vive La vie! Don’t eat tuna, but tell me what’s on your mind!
Big thanks to the agency Montebelo!