The Ripple Effect Of Otis Carey

On art, surf, life and love

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Three years ago, Otis Hope Carey picked up a brush and started painting the symbols of his people. He would amplify this line art like a sonic boom across canvas, surfboards and the buildings of his hometown in Coffs Harbour, and before long he found resonance in the cities and beach towns one frequents as a freesurfing traveller.

Otis likens his style to ripples of water, connecting his love of the ocean with traditional storytelling, saying “behind everything I do there’s always an underlying story from my culture.” In these paintings, Otis offers a modern interpretation of his Indigenous heritage, one we’ve seldom seen in surfing. “The artwork represents Gaagle which is the ocean. The ocean is the totem of my people,” says Otis, having just finished his art show of the same name at China Heights Gallery earlier this month. And to this body of work, we can now add his new line of Billabong boardshorts. “This is probably the most important artwork that I’ve painted to date just because of the meaning it holds to me and the connection I share with the art and the ocean.” We’re backing ’em big time. Click ahead to see the full collection.

Surfing World