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