In the Fall of 2014, three surfers/artists – Ozzie Hoppe, Elissa Pfost, and Kara Sparkman – will embark on a classic Northwest surf trip from Southern Oregon to Vancouver Island, B.C. Our mission is to employ our various creative leanings (art, words, photography) to illuminate the spirit of the women who surf this harsh, exposed, and wild cold-water region: We want to get to know who they are, and what makes them – and the place they inhabit – special.
Women are a minority in the surf population, and in the Pacific Northwest they are even more rare. It’s no surprise. The water is cold, the coastline rugged, and protected point breaks with clean, consistent waves, few and far between. The weather is iffy more often than not, and just getting to and into the water can be epic. There's usually a drive required, and a hike. And once there, you've got to wriggle into a thick wetsuit and – most of the year – hood, booties and gloves too. And then after the session, you reverse the whole process to get home. Surfing in the Pacific Northwest requires a whole new level of dedication and commitment.
Even with all of these hurdles to navigate, there are women dedicated to surfing this particular stretch of coastline. Most of them aren't surfing for an audience or media attention. They embrace their connection to the sea in a quiet, deeply personal, and sometimes even spiritual manner. We think their bond with the ocean, and the unique ways in which that relationship is nurtured and expressed, are important, inspiring, and deserve acknowledgement.
The road trip will be our method of exploration. We will immerse ourselves in the landscape and lifestyle via experiences we have with those we meet along the way. This is where the magic of travel happens, whether you share a wave in the water, talk story around a campfire, make a meal together, or practice yoga on the beach side by side. We look forward to the mutual inspiration that will naturally arise from these encounters.
As we travel together with a shared intention of discovery and connection, art will be the means through which we express our findings. We will creatively document and interpret our experience through drawing, painting, journaling, photography, video, interviews, writing, blogging, and social media. The trip will liberate our creativity in ways unique to each of us, and at journey’s end, we will share what we’ve discovered via a touring, multi-media presentation that will include an art show, film short, art books, and dialogue.
I personally know two of this trio, and can tell you that their creative energy is off the chart! Be sure to check them out and follow the adventure!