Tynan is the latest creative creature to be featured in the Le Sunshine people series. He’s a photographer, a film maker and deadly on a surfboard. And this week his work is on show at the Tap Gallery, don’t miss it.
I met Tynan at a mates place in Canberra. Tynan had grown up on the south coast and Canberra was the first big city he got to as his eyes grew wider and he decided to stretch his legs, out into the world.
Living on the south coast had its advantages. There’s waves, lots of them. And not many people. And even fewer people with cameras. Tynan was handed a camera by his old man and he didn’t need much encouragement to chase his mates who were on their way to surfing pro.
Pretty soon the major surf mags were sending him film. It was a different time. Surfing Life and Tracks would put film in the mail, he’d fill them with his best work and send them back. On a few occasions they’d run his shots, it was a thrill. He’s still got all the original negatives, just waiting for a retrospective.
He shot for Ocean and Earth who are a south coast surf brand but soon enough the world went digital. The film stopped turning up from the mags and his cameras didn’t have a slot for memory cards. The magic was missing from the digital cameras and so his interest waned.
He went to Canberra; where we met. He studied photography at TAFE and Uni, but it was a hard slog. He got to Sydney and after picking up an old 1D from a journo mate, he started chasing his other passion, gigs. This time round he was battling the crowds, not the waves. Finding a flow within the chaos to capture the energy and the sound and the movement through his lens.
But it’s a tough business, with plenty of competition and too many kids willing to work for free. Tynan realized he would need cash if he was to have the freedom to pursue his passion and so he headed to the mines. He was a scaffolder and it seemed a no-brainer to go where the best coin was.
The work was hard and the sites remote, but he made the most of it. He would put his head down and do his month’s work, but then… with his time off, he’d hit the road.
He didn’t waste money on renting a room that would be mostly empty. Instead he bought a van. He became a modern day nomad. Armed with eccentric surfboards and near-obsolete old film cameras. He chased waves and swung from campsite to campsite, through cities and towns, along dirt tracks and highways.
He always wore a smile and he built a growing network of friends on the road and in the towns. The charm of a smile and a shock of wild hair reminiscent of surfers from a hazy time that’s long gone.
In a beautiful juxtaposition we can follow his antique travels on Instagram and Facebook. He lives for the retro, but lucky for us he embraced modern networks to stay in touch.
This life on the road is the subject of Tynan’s first solo show here in Sydney. He’s drifted down from his new digs in Brisbane, to hang some frames and to fire up the real-to-reel projector, so we can all escape with him, up that long highway, but also back in time.
Head down to Tap Gallery all this week. Tynan will be there to greet you, with big smile and some stella images.
The Tap Gallery’s at 45 Burton St., Darlinghurst, it’s open 12-6 daily.