It’s the missing link . . .

T-shirt missing from Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic collection has been found . . . and it has quite the story to tell

T-shirt missing from Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic collection has been found . . . and it has quite the story to tell

FOUND: The 2004 Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic T-shirt, and its graphic design, missing from coverage of the 22-year-old event’s artwork, has been located. Picture by Philip Cedillos
PROVENANCE: Former Gisborne woman Anah Nicholas’s sculpture provided inspiration for the 2004 Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic T-shirt graphic. Picture by Mark Peters
Makorori Sculpture -

Only the 2004 edition of Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic (MFLSC) T-shirts was missing from organiser David Timbs’ collection — and from the Guide’s coverage two weeks ago of the 22 years of the iconic T’s graphic designs. The 2004 graphic turns out to have an international cachet and an art historical connection.

Timbs was contacted recently by Philip Cedillos of Maui, Hawaii, who will return the T-shirt the Gisborne longboarder gifted to him about nine years ago.

“Dude — I still have that one!” said Cedillo in an email to Timbs. “You gave it to me circa 2007. You can have it. It’s still in 95 percent good condition. Let me know where to send it. Aloha, Philip.”

The 2004 graphic features an iron-winged driftwood trunk lanyarded with a hank of thick rope. The design is based on a roadside sculpture in Northern Makorori. In response to an inquiry on Facebook about the provenance of the graphic, Paul Nache Gallery owner Matt Clarke recalled Anah Nicholas created the work at Lytton High School in 1999 under the tutelage of art teacher Richard “Buck” Rogers.

Nicholas, who now lives in New York, was influenced by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer who confronts his nation’s past in work that incorporates anti-tactile materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. Clayton Gibson drew an image of the sculpture and his nephew Ben Drummond “cleaned it up”.

In 2007, Cedillo traded his 2005 Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic T-shirt with Timbs for the 2004 MFLSC T-shirt.

The T-shirt's colourful life

Among those given the opportunity to admire Nicholas’s sculpture and Gibson’s graphic were Mumbai residents during the three days of the 2008 terrorist attacks there, and patrons at a Costa Rica bar two years later. In 2012 the T-shirt witnessed Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spewing into the Pacific ocean, then two years later found itself “intimately involved in some inane debauchery” in some Las Vegas casinos.

Since 2015, the T-shirt has resided peacefully in a 100-year-old wooden chest in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii — “awaiting its long awaited return to its homeland”.


■ The T-shirt graphic for the inaugural, 1996 Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic was designed by Gray Clapham, not by Owen Williams as stated in the February 9 Guide. The 1996 design was based on Dick Calcott’s graphic for the 1989 Moananui Longboard competition that pre-dated the Makorori longboard classic. Clapham also designed the hibiscus-framed 1997, and the 1999 graphics.

Only the 2004 edition of Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic (MFLSC) T-shirts was missing from organiser David Timbs’ collection — and from the Guide’s coverage two weeks ago of the 22 years of the iconic T’s graphic designs. The 2004 graphic turns out to have an international cachet and an art historical connection.

Timbs was contacted recently by Philip Cedillos of Maui, Hawaii, who will return the T-shirt the Gisborne longboarder gifted to him about nine years ago.

“Dude — I still have that one!” said Cedillo in an email to Timbs. “You gave it to me circa 2007. You can have it. It’s still in 95 percent good condition. Let me know where to send it. Aloha, Philip.”

The 2004 graphic features an iron-winged driftwood trunk lanyarded with a hank of thick rope. The design is based on a roadside sculpture in Northern Makorori. In response to an inquiry on Facebook about the provenance of the graphic, Paul Nache Gallery owner Matt Clarke recalled Anah Nicholas created the work at Lytton High School in 1999 under the tutelage of art teacher Richard “Buck” Rogers.

Nicholas, who now lives in New York, was influenced by German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer who confronts his nation’s past in work that incorporates anti-tactile materials such as straw, ash, clay, lead, and shellac. Clayton Gibson drew an image of the sculpture and his nephew Ben Drummond “cleaned it up”.

In 2007, Cedillo traded his 2005 Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic T-shirt with Timbs for the 2004 MFLSC T-shirt.

The T-shirt's colourful life

Among those given the opportunity to admire Nicholas’s sculpture and Gibson’s graphic were Mumbai residents during the three days of the 2008 terrorist attacks there, and patrons at a Costa Rica bar two years later. In 2012 the T-shirt witnessed Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano spewing into the Pacific ocean, then two years later found itself “intimately involved in some inane debauchery” in some Las Vegas casinos.

Since 2015, the T-shirt has resided peacefully in a 100-year-old wooden chest in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii — “awaiting its long awaited return to its homeland”.


■ The T-shirt graphic for the inaugural, 1996 Makorori First Light Longboard Surfing Classic was designed by Gray Clapham, not by Owen Williams as stated in the February 9 Guide. The 1996 design was based on Dick Calcott’s graphic for the 1989 Moananui Longboard competition that pre-dated the Makorori longboard classic. Clapham also designed the hibiscus-framed 1997, and the 1999 graphics.

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