Local artist turns surfboard into beautiful art piece for a very good cause

Cape Town – The annual Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival has kicked off in Cape Town. (Find out more here)

The festival includes an expanded lineup of ocean-conscious events including the art board exhibition and auction. 

Since 2005 local artists have been transforming surfboards into art pieces and auctioning them off to raise funds for several ocean charities including the NSRI, Shark Spotters and Waves for Change. This year Wavescape will also be donating to the Adaptive Surfing - Parasurfing South Africa and the 9Miles Project. 

Channel24 had a quick chat with one of the artists, Jake Aikman taking part in this year’s art board exhibition.

According to a description on the SMAC gallery website Aikman is known for painting vast seascapes, remote coastlines and dense forests.

“His ever-changing palette reveals rich nuances of colour and tonal depth, which further echo the complexity of the emotional drama that underpins his subject matter," his biography reads.

Jake Aikman


Why did you decide to take part in the art boards project of  the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival?

This is the third year I've been invited to take part. It allows me to make a meaningful contribution to the great organisations that benefit from the auction.

What kind of paint did you use to create the art piece? 

I didn't need to change my medium for the project. I worked with my usual oil paints that I use on canvas.

How long did it take you to finish this project?

I tend to work on a number of things at the same time. Oil paint is slow and layered. One needs to leave things to dry and work on something else. Maybe it took me a week. I didn’t log my hours.

What’s the most difficult part of creating such a realistic oceanscape?

Realistic painting isn't the challenge. The most difficult part is attempting to convey mood and meaning in a painting. Virtuoso painting without those qualities is like trying to imitate or compete with photography. 

What’s the strangest surface you’ve ever had to paint on?

In July I painted a three-story mural in Kiev. On the lowest level was a metal gate that was permanently pegged back against the wall. I needed to incorporate the gate into the seascape.

What’s your favourite thing about the ocean?

Its myriad evocative properties 

What’s your favourite local beach?

The Atlantic coast beaches in Cape Point reserve. I can't pick one.

Do you surf?

I do.

What influenced you to be an artist?

My parents are both artistic. I was encouraged to draw and paint from as far back as I can remember. I resisted it as a career option, but succumbed, and started studying at age 24. 

What other projects are you currently busy with?

I'm always working towards the next solo exhibition. Possibly in March 2018. 

Jake Aikman


The Art Board Exhibition is taking place from 20 to 28 November at the Jack Black Beer Brewery. On 28 November local comedian Rob Van Vuuren will auction of the works of art. The auction will take place at the Jack Black Beer Brewery at 19:30. Entrance is free. Find out more here

Other artists taking part in the exhibition include Brett Murray, Lionel Smit, Andrzej Urbanski, Jenna Barbe, Marti Lund & Chris Auret (MAAKboards ), Kirsten Sims Illustration, Liza Grobler, Alexis Aronson, Beezy Bailey (Artist Beezy Bailey). 

Channel24 is a proud media partner of the Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival 2017.

(Photos: Supplied/Wavescape Surf & Ocean Festival)