Prospero año nuevo!



Spent the last morning of the year paddling out at a north coast beachy with good mates, before the sunrise, to catch a few glassy drainers in the bath warm sea. Ahh, nice! So ends the year: rashed up, sunburnt, sore shoulders, sleepy, blessed, grateful. Happy new year friends. Thanks for dropping in from time to time to Look & Sea.

Sew & Sing

ORAIN: 75 sew&sing from debolex films on Vimeo.



More radness from Euskadi via the lovely girls from Sew n Sing & the inspiring work of Debolex Films. So good to see people all around the planet pursuing their passions & making simple, humble, beautiful things.

Feliz Navidad Amigos!



Our little River, throwing out some Christmas joy to each of you & yours. You all know who you are. Merry christmas mates!

Sea Mist




"...it is a strange thing that most of the feeling we call religious, most of the mystical outcrying which is one of the most prized and used and desired reactions of our species, is really the understanding and the attempt to say that man is related to the whole thing, related inextricably to all reality, known and unknowable. This is a simple thing to say, but the profound feeling of it made a Jesus, a St. Augustine, a St. Francis, a Roger Bacon, a Charles Darwin, and an Einstein. Each of them in his own tempo and with his own voice discovered and reaffirmed with astonishment the knowledge that all things are one thing and that one thing is all things—plankton, a shimmering phosphorescence on the sea and the spinning planets and an expanding universe, all bound together by the elastic string of time. It is advisable to look from the tide pool to the stars and then back to the tide pool again."

JOHN STEINBECK, The Log from the Sea of Cortez

Mike McCarthy / Missing Person



Mike McCarthy / Missing Person from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.



This is a clip I made for my old mate Mike McCarthy, playing a new song he wrote called 'Missing Person', in his kitchen with friends Coral Latella & Sean Cashin. Mike contributed some of his music to my films 'Lines From A Poem' & 'Seaworthy', & his work was used pretty extensively in Cyrus Sutton's latest film 'Stoked & Broke'.

Thanks for watching mates.

Trickery



Tip trickeries with Jared Mell. Such a pleasure to shoot this guy, pure exuberant original surfing.

Summery Loggery



Summery Loggery: A Patagonia Short from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.



This is a short for my friends at Patagonia, featuring Johnny Gill & Sean Finnelley getting some crispy little summery peelers at their local.

I cut this piece to a song called ‘Heimat Sterne - A suite in 3 movements' by my mate Brendan Berlach.

Apologies in advance to Northern Hemisphere viewers who are caught up in the middle of winter!

El Mar, Mi Alma

My friend Blake is the editor of this film, & a contributing cinematographer. It looks lovely & I thought I might share it with you:

'El Mar, Mi Alma' preview from Blake HJ Copland on Vimeo.

The Green Grass Of Home



It's not always greener on the other side. A lot of the time, home is exactly where I want to be. I am grateful.

Gear Change



Another photo my mate Ben Conquest took of me up north a couple of months back, changing down through the gears on my twelve footer. Mmmmmm.....pointbreaks. How I wish I was doing this right now.

Friday Night: Adrift Surf Shop



A local surf shop is having a reshape & has used some of my photos as part of its new storefront. The shots have been blown up really big & they look amazing & I'm stoked.

Adrift are having a little shindig this Friday night:

Adrift Surf will be opening it's doors for
all friends, family and ocean lovers on Friday 10th December 7-9pm.
Join us for drinks, nibbles, live music, a
good ol' yarn and check out the
refurbished store!
133 The Entrance Road
The Entrance, NSW
T 02 4332 8355
adrift@adriftsurf.com.au


Hopefully I'll see some of you there. Make sure you come up & say gday.

Gratitude

Here's a sunrise from a few weeks back at the same place where we set loose Willow's ashes five years ago. It's a beautiful hidden cove buried in a nearby national park; a sacred place I have surfed & cherished since childhood.
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Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality.
Alfred Painter
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Dear mates: normally I like to write to people individually, but I'm more than a little overwhelmed by your generous responses & more than a little lost for words, so allow me this once to write to you collectively. Friends & brothers, please let me express my deepest thankfulness for your generous words of solace & encouragement. We are humbled & blessed & grateful for your kindness & care from nearby & across the seas. Truly, truly, thank you.

Broken Places



The second day of summer, again, & the hardest day of the year for me. Today is the fifth birthday of our lost daughter Willow Blue Lotus Ariel Oldfield. The photo above was taken by my good friend Ryan Heywood. It's of my wife Eliza & I, with our son Noa, walking out at my favourite place in all the world, to give Willow's ashes to the sea a week after she died. It's a difficult photo for me to look at, because in retrospect I can see us just at the beginning of a very dark & terrible grief journey from which we did not emerge unscathed. Strange perhaps, but true, already - even in those early benumbed days - I was thinking about making a surfboard & film for my daughter, which of course became Noelani & Seaworthy.

Sometimes for me blogging seems almost dishonest. It's a carefully edited selection of good moments, rather than a document of real life, with all its despair & desire & disappointments & dreams. A few weeks back, someone actually wrote to me saying that they wished that they had my life, which was a generous thing for them to say, & clearly well intentioned, but it made me reflect on how misleading blogs can actually be. In the future, I might try to take this little piece of cyberspace to a more open, transparent place.

For years, when I was younger, I regularly wrote in a little journal I called my 'Think Book', & it was a beautifully cathartical process of unfolding myself. I poured my soul into that book really: poems, dreams, photographs, songs, inspiration. In a way it was like a blog, but realer, less self-conscious, more raw. So I thought I'd share an extract from it, today on our daughter's birthday, penned on a very bleak New Year's Eve just a month after Willow died.

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Four weeks ago yesterday, my darling beloved daughter Willow Blue Lotus Ariel Oldfield was born – December 2, 2005 at 12.51 in the afternoon. With fierce courage, tender love & a very bold & broken heart, my incredible beautiful wife gave our baby the natural birth that she deserved. After a day & night of grief & labour, I at last received Willow’s warm but lifeless body as she slipped silently from between Eliza’s legs into my waiting, trembling hands. I buried my face in our Willow’s tiny, still, exquisite body & I covered her with tears & kisses & tender words & anguished groans. In that terrible & beautiful moment I felt my spirit being torn asunder & I recognised that some essential part of me had in that very instant been broken irreversibly & utterly & completely. It is a brokenness that I will never hope can be restored in this life.

Now Eliza & I are a storm tossed ship riding grief’s wild seas. Sometimes great waves swamp & overwhelm us. Sometimes, fleetingly, we find that our fragile craft arights herself & runs with the wind. Other times we are blown flat unexpectedly, the whole world is spume & spindthrift & disorder & the swell pours over the gunwales; & our ship groans with the weight of enduring such dark & violent seas & I fear we might finally lose her in our awful struggle. Then again at times we are becalmed but it is the listless & lethargic calm of a doldrum, featureless & directionless & empty, & we lose our way. Then, after an age, we feel the wind stir & we set our battered sails to meet the next storm front that we see gathering on the horizon, all dark & grey & foreboding, with sharp teeth & vicious intent.

And we would despair but for one thing: our masthead in silhouette against the threatening cloud-wrack is the shape of a cross. On such a cross at Galgotha two thousand years ago our God lost his own beloved child, saw him as still & lifeless as our own Willow. We are thereby promised that death – dark thief death – has a power that only holds sway in this world’s realm.

One shall come a day then when our ship finally & forever finds her home & port, & even as we disembark upon the Kingdom’s golden perfect shores, even as I lift my beloved bride & set her feet upon the sand of our last & complete homecoming, we see a proud tall beautiful woman running towards us, her parents, with sun-kissed olive skin & long dark hair framing her flashing smile, impossibly gorgeous & carefree & youthful & alive…& oh, how we do run to meet her!

But, for now, we must sail on brokenhearted. Forlorn for a time, yes; aggrieved & broken & incomplete, too. Yet never, ever, ever without hope. Because all of us, if we do receive & bend to our brokenhearted God, will live forever & always.

New Year’s Eve, December 31, 2005


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“The world breaks everyone," wrote Hemingway, "and afterward, some are strong at the broken places.”

I don't feel particularly strong today. My broken places still feel broken.

Two Weeks Tour

My mate Johnny Abegg is taking his wonderful, thoughtful film 'Two Weeks' on tour this week.


Stoked & Broke Online Tour



Cyrus' rad film goes online for three days later this week. More details here. It's a beautiful surf film. Try watch!

The Sea Life

I'm always stoked to check out Matt Johnson's lovely work. He's just finished a new hard cover coffee table photo annual featuring the best of The Sea Life from the last twelve months.





Pure radgnar! Seek your copy here.

Good Ship



Stoked & honoured to be invited aboard the good ship Patagonia. Thanks again for the invitation, mates.

Dusk



So ends a day in one of my favourite places in the world. Love that feeling of saltwater drying on my skin, with paddling arms deliciously sore, racking my board onto the roof, anticipating dinner & a quiet night of family time at home. Joy.

Cave Dweller

My mate Kerry Down is probably the most shacked up human I know. Here's a little edit he's put together of happy times around some of our local spots, cut to some tunes by our mutual friend Luke Aloyisus Gallen.



The song is called 'Means To An End' & some of you might recognise it from 'Seaworthy'. Yew! Tidy work Kerry!

The Waxhead Diaries

Long before it was cool, my good cobber Matt Chojnacki was already one of the finest left of centre surfboard aficionados in the country. Matty is currently working on a series of webisodes, exploring his own unique take on the often overlooked cradle of performance surfing that is Sydney. Here's the first one. Try watch.

The Waxhead Diaries (trailer) from The Waxhead Diaries on Vimeo.

RIP AI

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Portrait

Buffalo Bill's
defunct
who used to
ride a water-smooth-silver
stallion
and break onetwothreefourfive pigeonsjustlikethat
Jesus
he was a handsome man
and what i want to know is
how do you like your blueeyed boy
Mister Death

e.e. cummings

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Never knew him but admired Andy Iron's frontside highline hack (pure Curren-esque, clean & crisp & no hand jive) & his commitment to heaving tubes. So sad to see a man cut down in the prime of his living, only weeks before becoming a first time father. So sorry for his grieving wife. Life is a precious gift, fleeting. Let us savour what we have left of it.

Morning Of The Mo



Looks to be another loose weekend of singlefin shenanigans. More information here.

Tactile



One of my favourite things to do in surfing is just to touch the water, to feel all that liquid silk playing beneath my fingertips. Here's me, riding a twelve footer shaped by Paul Joske. Achieving pure trim on this surfboard & dragging my hand in the lip is one of the most supreme pleasures in my simple life. This beautiful twelve footer is a lifetime surfboard that I treasure deeply. Thanks to my friend Ben Conquest for this photo. Ben has a rad blog here.

Tuna Review



Interesting little review of Tom's new tuna boards, that are just now becoming available. I'm looking forward to riding one, for sure.

Homem Família



Luciano Burin has just posted an interview he did with me over at the Brazilian site Surf & Cult. There's a (somewhat sketchy) English translation by google here in case your Portuguese is as bad as mine. It's always a humbling experience to have people on the other side of the planet interested in my work, so muito obrigado Luciano!

Two Weeks / Second Showing

Due to popular demand, Johnny Abegg's profound film 'Two Weeks' is having a second showing in Byron:

Isaac de Heer

Isaac de Heer was good enough to share his music for 'Seaworthy.' Here's a sweet little clip of him playing 'Old Leather', a track from his new album called 'Wordshapes'.

Cobblestone Slipperies

I haven't put any shorts online for a while. I am trying to save my best footage for the next film I'm working on. But here's a little edit of my friend Dane that I just put together. I've said it elsewhere but DP is my favourite logger. His technique is always so crisp & technically clean & uncluttered; he has a kind of understated flair going on & there are lots of subtle nuances operating in his surfing that are unnoticed by an uninformed eye. Plus, I enjoy how he rolls through the lines & turns he makes on a wave; you can see that the rolled bottom of his surfboard is being used to it's full effect & it highlights his pleasing, classical, pointbreak-orientated style. Love your work Dane! Anyways, thanks for watching & I hope you enjoy 'Cobblestone Slipperies'.

Cobblestone Slipperies // Dane Peterson from Nathan Oldfield on Vimeo.

Our Generation Film

A film that deals with issues close to my heart. I love Australia, but it is a country that is profoundly in need of healing. Reconciliation requires awareness & action. Ignorance is not bliss.



EAST COAST TOUR DATES

Friday 22nd October, 2010
MELBOURNE: CAPITOL THEATRE, 113 Swanston Street

Monday 25th October, 2010
CANBERRA: JAMES O'FAIRFAX THEATRE at the NATIONAL GALLERY OF AUSTRALIA, Parkes Place

Tuesday 26th October, 2010
ADELAIDE: CAPRI THEATRE, 141 Goodwood Rd

Friday 29th October, 2010
SYDNEY: CHAUVEL THEATRE, Cnr Oxford St and Oatley Rd, Paddington

Monday 1st November, 2010
BRISBANE: SCHONELL THEATRE at UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND, Union Rd, St Lucia

More information at Our Generation.

Funnery



Having a bit of hometown fun with my Valla quad fish handcrafted by Sage Joske. Photo by Kerry Down.

Kidman

Andrew Kidman has a new website & he's about to release his latest cinematic offering. I'm always inspired by Andrew's thoughtful work.

Lost in the Ether from Andrew Kidman on Vimeo.

Grateful

One of the things I love about surfing, especially our little quirky niche in surfing, is how it can bring people together, regardless of borders or distance. As the old saying goes, it's a small world after all.

Xabi is my friend from Zarautz, in the north of Spain, & he has just shown my film 'Lines From A Poem' in his hometown as part of the Zinematic Surf Film Festival. I'm stoked that Xabi even took the time to translate subtitles for the showing. Just now he sent me through these photos & he reports that everything went well.



These photographs give me goosebumps, because they are taken in a town not so far away from where my own grandfather was born & raised in Euskadi, the beautiful old Basque country that is so far away, but yet so close to my heart. Oh how I wish I could have been there.

Truly, it is wonderful how a surfing life can bestow such rich gifts as unexpected & unlikely - but most welcome - friendship.

Xabi, muchas gracias a mi amigo. Estoy muy agradecido.

Crave

I’ve been away up north for a while spending time with the family & surfing myself silly. Good times.

One day I was pushing my little six year old nephew Jazz into waves on a surf mat. He was having a rad time, all lit up by the tiny little rides on offer. After one particularly long one, he told me: “This is great fun Uncle Nathan! I really love it!”

Then he looked at me earnestly and said: “I actually crave surfing every day.”

I looked back at him & replied just as earnestly: “Jazz, I know exactly what you mean. You and me both, little mate, you & me both.”

Welcome Sonny



Kerry Down. Photo by Paul Melnyk.
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My mate Kerry & his lovely lady Jackie had a young goofyfooter in the early hours this morning. His name is Sonny. Welcome to the world little friend.

Hero


Tom Curren, Backdoor Pipeline, 1991. Riding a reverse vee by Maurice Cole. Photograph by Tom Servais.
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This is my all time favourite photograph of my all time favourite surfer. This image was captured nearly twenty years ago but I think it still stands as an example of world class, state-of-the-art waveriding. It is a wonderful testament, not just to Curren's ability, but to the reality that this kind of clean, classical rail orientated surfing is timeless.

I was very impressed by this photo. Not long after I saw it I made my own reverse vee board that served me well, & this poster has hung in my shaping bay ever since. I can't possibly say how much many times I have pondered this photograph & all that it holds in terms of Curren's style: the economy of movement, the length of rail engaged, the subtle body torque, the masterful positioning, the gently splayed fingers & the graceful positioning of the hands. And photographically, too, there is much to consider. I think it is a triumph in terms of composition, light, contrast, line, shape & texture. The sun-struck trail created by Curren's turn leads the eye through the picture & gives the image vitality & movement, & the gorgeous parabolic curve of the track itself describes the beautiful purity of his line.

In retrospect I think it is photographs like these, & also my experience of watching surf films as I grew up, that inspired me to desire to somehow contribute to the ways in which surfing is documented. Whether in writing, or art, or still & moving pictures, I hoped & still do hope to share in some small way the grand joy & deep beauty & vast meaning surfing gives our lives. But for me there is a tension in all this. Servais' photograph is a beautifully captured moment, but at the end of the day I recognise that is all it is: a moment long ago passed. I am reminded that surfing's joy & beauty, like all things in life, are fleeting. Perhaps, too, that's why I hope to capture such things in photos & films, if only to just to hold & savour them a little longer.

A poet who had an important impact upon me growing up was John Keats. Keats' work is infused with these kinds of themes of transience & impermanence. Tragically, he ended up dying from tuberculosis in his mid-twenties. At his request, the epitaph on his grave bears this poignant script: "Here lies one whose name was writ in water."

I think it is a fine epitaph for any surfer. It somehow suits all of us who, like Curren above, etch short-lived lines upon bands of ephemeral energy that are born & live & die in our beloved & ever-changing sea.

Seaworthy via The Surf Network









While I'm busy sharing friends' work I thought I'd throw it out there that my film 'Seaworthy' is available for immediate download online via The Surf Network. If you haven't seen it already, I hope that you enjoy the film &, as always, thanks for watching.

Mini


Tidy new mini-simmons via Jess Watson of Black Apache Surfboards. Perfect board for upcoming summery experiments.

Keyo/reCycle

When they're not getting up to nasal shenanigans or rolling at the skatepark my mates Sean & Johnny mess around with fixies:

keyo. reCycle from keyo int on Vimeo.

They also have a little blog going here.

Little Black Wheels








My mate Mick Waters' film 'Little Black Wheels' has come just become available online. You can download it or watch it live from www.thesurfnetwork.com. It's a really special piece of work.

Stoked & Broke Tour



Cyrus Sutton sent me a copy of his new movie & I watched it last night & it is absolutely epic. A beautiful, original, engaging film. So good. Go seek.

Grace



Belinda Baggs.

Explore



Explore is a philanthropic community whose mission is to champion the selfless acts of others, to create a portal into the soul of humanity and to inspire lifelong learning. Please show your interest & sign up & go into a draw to win a free surfboard here.

Speed Run



I had the good fortune of watching Wayne Bartholomew take apart a Queensland pointbreak a few months back & it was pure inspiration.

Rabbit turns fifty-six this year, which is exactly twenty years older than I am. This day he was catching his fair share of waves despite a crowded lineup, surfing smooth & fast & covering a lot of ground, completing waves way down the length of the cove & then overtaking surfers half his age as he sprinted back to the rockoff spot at the tip of the point.

Simply put, Rabs was frothing as hard as a grommet & it warmed the cockles of my surfer's heart to witness it all unfolding: a grown man, silver haired in his later years, overflowing with joy & vitality & desire, obviously as much in love with surfing as he ever has been.

It reminded me of what the narrator in Tim Winton's 'Breath' thought about surfing: "How strange it was to see men doing something beautiful. Something pointless and elegant."

How strange, how simple, how good. I am grateful to share the lineup with elders who can still remind us of that most primary lesson: a surfing life is pure gift.

The Seaglass Project



In addition to building beautifully handcrafted timber boards, Tom has teamed up with GSI to release his tuna models under the label of The Seaglass Project. I can't wait to have a go on one of these little spaceships. Go well Tom! Vaya con Dios!