Sarah Huston is a Gold Coaster passionate about skateboarding and design.
So much so that she has put together a photography exhibition, fittingly titled Yeah Girl, showcasing female skateboarders from around the world.
We took five to chat with Sarah about Yeah Girl’s collaboration with Bowlzilla and how skateboarding fuels her creativity.
How did the Yeah Girl exhibition come about?
I started noticing more and more girls around the world were shooting skate photos and it just seemed like this really niche little group that was flying under the radar. Originally, I was going to do it as an exhibition of female photographers shooting anyone skating—guys or girls—but I’m also a bit of an advocate for increasing the exposure of female skaters, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity to put all the ladies in the spotlight; the ones behind the camera and in front of it.
How is Yeah Girl linked to Bowlzilla?
Yeah Girl and BOWLZILLA were both part of the Bleach Festival lineup last year so we began working together to create one big weekend of skateboarding. Since then BOWLZILLA have been big supporters of Yeah Girl and vice versa. BOWLZILLA’s ethos is based around bringing people together, having fun and celebrating skate culture; something Yeah Girl can definitely relate to and get behind.
This year we’ve joined forces again to put on a double movie premiere on Friday March 17th at Warehouse No. 5. We’ll be premiering Quit Your Day Job, the first female skate film to come out of the USA in over a decade, as well as Steady Lurking, a new local film from the guys at Fiik Skateboards.
Why are you passionate about showcasing female skateboarders?
There’s so much talent in women’s skateboarding these days, from both the skaters and photographers. There’s also a really unique culture in women’s skating. It still has a really DIY vibe about it and it is what it is because of the passionate women that are a part of it, constantly pushing to make things happen. It deserves to be highlighted and celebrated.
If you had asked me a year ago I would have said my passion was driven by the lack of coverage for women in the core skate media. But to say that now – on the day when Lizzie Armanto’s new Thrasher cover was just revealed – wouldn’t really be fair. As a community we need to keep that momentum going though and continue to back women’s skating with the same passion and determination that has gotten it to where it is now.
You’re a skateboard coach, why do you think people should try it?
I can’t think of anything else that can teach you so much patience, determination and persistence and still be so fun! It’s kind of funny, I often find myself in deep philosophical conversations with friends about the life lessons that can be learnt from skateboarding.
The most rewarding part of coaching is seeing people support each other regardless of their skill level, gender or age. Skateboarding just has this way of bringing people together and breaking down barriers.
What do you love about it personally?
So many things. But I think it’s the challenge that keeps me coming back for more. I get as much satisfaction out of trying to learn a trick as I do landing a trick. Which is lucky because it tends to take me a while so I might have given up long ago otherwise…
I also love the friendships that come from skateboarding. It’s a pretty special community, especially amongst the girls. It’s still tight-knit enough that a mutual love of skateboarding is enough to reach out and build a friendship on.
Tell us about your background, how did you get to be where you are today?
I feel like where I’m at right now is because of a beautiful collision of my two biggest passions – skateboarding and design. My love of skateboarding began as a kid. My brothers used to skate so decided to try it out and it’s been a part of my life ever since. I studied design at Queensland College of Art and since then I’ve been working (–and living–there’s no dividing the two) as a designer. Skateboarding and creativity go hand in hand so those two parts of my life naturally came together. I guess Yeah Girl is their love child.
How does skateboarding inspire your creativity?
As a skateboarder you tend to think outside the box and see the world a little differently – a ledge isn’t just a ledge and a set of stairs isn’t just for walking up and down. The premise of creativity is the same. You need to see different perspectives and draw connections between seemingly unrelated things. So to more directly answer your question, it’s not so much that skateboarding inspires my creativity, but it is an extension of it. They go hand-in-hand.
What’s in the pipeline for you?
Right now I’m working on the next Yeah Girl exhibition. I’m excited to be teaming up with Girls Are Awesome to take the exhibition to Copenhagen this year. It opens on July 15th at Vess Gallery and will run through CPH Open, one of skateboarding’s biggest global contests and celebrations.
Your favourite piece of life advice?
If it doesn’t scare you, it’s not worth doing.
You’re not a Gold Coast local if you haven’t…
Quoted “beautiful one day, perfect the next” to interstate visitors and then struggled to entertain them while it rains for a week.
Being a Gold Coast local we have to ask for your favourites…
Beach: Mermaid Beach – it’s close to home and not too busy
Restaurant: Zipang Japanese Dining in Currumbin
Bar: I’m more of a small bar person – Apres Surf
Coffee Shop: All Time Coffee
The Gold Coast is known for many things, one of which is definitely our beautiful waterways. Slightly lesser known perhaps is our rich Aboriginal history, wildlife conservation efforts and the passionate locals sharing the stories.
That’s about to change though thanks to Kayak the Gold Coast’s new ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ half-day tour package.
Incorporating a unique spin on their original tours, ‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ takes guests on a cultural experience unlike anything the Coast has seen before.
The package begins at the Burleigh Jellurgal Cultural Centre where guests watch a short film on the Gold Coast’s Aboriginal history including ancient burial sites and the unique ways of the Yugambeh people who lived in Burleigh Heads over 4,000 years ago.
After receiving an ochre blessing, the tour heads out onto Burleigh Hill where guests are taken on a sub-tropical hike and told stories of the Aboriginal people who lived there thousands of years ago, how they lived and hunted food and how they believe the mountain was formed.
The hike comes complete with stunning views of the Coastline and a dolphin sighting if you’re lucky.
It’s both an educational and spiritual experience and you can’t help but be awe-struck by the passion with which the Indigenous tour guides share their people’s history and beliefs.
A delicious morning tea follows and then it’s sunscreen, life jackets and onto the kayaks for a leisurely cruise down the ridiculously beautiful and tranquil Tallebudgera Creek.
A quick stop over for a dip, past the (huge) local Osprey’s nest and guests pull up to the purpose built kayak ramp at David Fleay Wildlife Park.
Maybe you’ve been to Fleay’s but if not (guilty), there is a lot to learn about the man who paved the way for animal conservation in Australia.
David Fleay was passionate about keeping animals in enclosures the same as they would inhabit in the wild and after moving to the Gold Coast from Melbourne, he and his wife purchased land next to the creek and did exactly that.
With constant research and conservation techniques, he created a wildlife park resembling local wetlands.
The package includes the park’s Creatures of the Night show featuring an absolutely delightful sugar glider and a Bilby who literally buries his head in the sand.
We’re a lucky bunch here on the Coast, surrounded by enriching culture, both natural and historic and people whose passion it is to share that culture with anyone willing to listen.
‘Heart of the Gold Coast’ is an incredibly enriching tour package for both locals who may be unaware of our extensive Aboriginal history and visitors who want to experience our incredible natural wonders while also learning about how they came to be.
· Pick up and drop off from your hotel
· Indigenous history + kayak + wildlife park entry
· Morning tea
· Water, sunscreen & paddling lesson
· Small groups and personal service
· The best of Burleigh Heads
· Toilets + café
· Complimentary photographs of kayaking
Tour package runs from 7.30am until 12pm through Kayak the Gold Coast.
The Gold Coast’s local art scene has blossomed exponentially in the last few years. Galleries, installations and murals have popped up all over the Coast and local artists are making themselves known both here and on the national scene.
If you’re looking for a unique way to spend a day on the Gold Coast, we’ve got just the answer. Here’s a list of local galleries to help you get your art fix.
Wayne Sorrenson Gallery
World-renowned landscape photographer Wayne Sorrenson opened his very own gallery in Miami in 2020 so we, the lucky Gold Coasters get to peruse his breathtaking art anytime we like. Within the gallery, there’s a huge selection of framed artwork to purchase, as well as a range of gift ideas including acrylic blocks, greeting cards and calendars to name a few. It’s all absolutely magical and a lovely stand-in for the international travel we aren’t allowed to do right now.
Where: 40 Lemana Lane, Miami
Anthea Polson Art
Anthea Polson Art specialises in contemporary emerging Australian art and sculpture, including investment works. A regular exhibition programme showcases the work of emerging and established contemporary artists.
Where: 29 Tedder Avenue, Main Beach
Maverick Hair & Art Space
Maverick is a small gallery hosting community art exhibitions and events throughout the year. Headed up by artist Byron Coathup and partner Hayley, the space (also boasting a hair studio) caters for art and design lovers and offers beautiful gifts for purchase from both near and far. Don’t be afraid to head up the stairs and check out the gallery.
Where: First Floor, 1/17 Griffith Street, Coolangatta
The Hive Burleigh Heads
The newest of the bunch, The HIVE was opened very recently by Jo Ellings, a Gold Coast artist who has been creating stunning works for over 30 years and is now sharing that talent with the likes of us. Within the gallery you’ll find an array of stunning works to take home with you or, if you’d like to stay awhile why not grab a ticket to one of their workshops and become an artist yourself. There’s also a regular meetup and music night if you want to meet some like-minded folks.
Where: 5/3 Park Avenue, Burleigh Heads
Level Up studio + gallery
The space is designed to provide access to art experiences for young people and adults within the local community and beyond, through public programs hosting a range of creative activations, such as art workshops, artist talks, school holiday workshops, networking events and an exciting monthly exhibitions program. Emerging artists can apply for space and we can all pop in there to check out the magic. So good.
Where: 72-82 Marine Parade, Coolangatta
The Walls Art Space Miami
The Walls is an interactive space that began in 2012 aiming to serve as a hub of creative practice, critical dialogue and innovative thinking around contemporary art. Their annual program focus is to curate monthly exhibitions in conjunction with their successful local artist in residence program.
Where: 4/18 Mountain View Avenue, Miami
Created by the good people at ArtWork Agency, AW Space is a pretty art gallery slash workshop slash event space showcasing the work of a team of folks whose names you’ve no doubt heard uttered once or twice. They are Claudio Kirac and his equally impressive partners in crime Paul Bow and Laura Strange. All talented within their own rights, the team have combined their forces to create a stunning space filled with beautiful works. Do yourself a favour and get in there.
Where: 2/53-55 Cronulla Avenue, Mermaid Beach
Stop in for a delicious brunch overlooking the ocean and take in the collection of local art and handmade goodies next door while you’re there! The space combines works by local artists with a new store filled with locally made homewares, clothing and creative pieces.
Where: 275 Boundary Street, Coolangatta
19Karen Contemporary Artspace
A stunning space filled with bold new art (and all for purchase!) by emerging, mid-career and established Australian and International artists. Exhibitions curated by Terri Lew rotate regularly, ranging in style and genre from pop culture, surrealism, realism, street art, abstraction and to the still undefined.
Where: 19 Karen Avenue, Mermaid Beach
The Gold Coast’s premier cultural precinct, HOTA (Home of The Arts) has been showcasing visual and performing arts since 1986. With an array of exhibitions, cinemas and dining/bar facilities, there’s something for everyone throughout the entire year. In 2021, we’ll see the precinct increase in size with an incredible new six-level Gallery that’s due to open with world-class exhibitions (including Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and more) plus a showcase of incredible local artists.
Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise
A refurbished warehouse (a piece of art itself) in the heart of Currumbin Waters, Dust Temple and its creative space Hinge Gallery hosts local, national and international artists, musicians and poets. There’s also a fantastic café / coffee shop, so stay awhile and soak up the creative scene.
Where: 54 Currumbin Creek Road, Currumbin Waters