Surf photographer, John Respondek confirms the launch of ‘Chippa. By Respondek’, part four in his series of independent photography essays.
This 120-page photo collection of honest-to-God freak, Chippa Wilson, highlights the signature graceful acrobatics of the energetic surfer, bound together in pastel green.
After years of documenting surf adventures with Chippa, together with many weeks of careful editing, Respondek has compiled the photographic fruits of his labour into a book capturing moments of this gifted, yet unorthodox surfer. Chippa’s personal hand-written captions and drawings complement the images and give readers a glimpse into the mind of the man.
Respondek says “It’s been really fun to travel and shoot with Chippa over the last few years. I’ve always tried to capture his speed and energy within my photographs. I’m thrilled with some of the moments we’ve acquired along the way. It’s a great pleasure to see our best imagery assembled and cemented in the wonderful artform of print.”
Chippa says “The last couple of years have been busy, non-stop and a blur! Thankfully people like Spon have been there to capture some of the best moments of the ride. After looking at the photos he’s shot during our time hanging out, I can tell you it’s been a blast! He’s a great mate of mine and an amazing photographer. As you will see, he makes me look good! Hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did. Good work Spon.”
Chippa is an honest-to-God freak… Now, I mean that in the best way possible. He’s one of the most naturally gifted board-riders I’ve ever seen, yet his approach is completely unorthodox. It’s almost as if they mixed up the unlikely pairing of a skitzed out cat with a contemporary dancer, and it somehow turned out a treat. Fast, energetic, acrobatic and graceful, Chippa is a surfer with an impeccable ability to read a wave. I believe he sees the wave in front of him differently to everyone else. This is something that has always kept me fascinated and engaged as a photographer. Being one of the most consistent surfers in the world, when shooting with Chippa, I have to stay on my toes at all times.
A guy unique in his appearance and personality, Chippa is a switched-on character and seems to have an endearing cleverness about him. On a personal level, I find him interesting and I can also appreciate the many interests and hobbies he has outside of the normal stereotypes associated with surfing.
Most of the imagery in this book comes from Chippa and I working closely together over the last four or five years. While it’s been a pleasure to hang out and travel with him, more than that, it has been an honour to shoot with Chippa. I’m very happy with the moments we have been able to capture along the way. Here in part four of my photo essay series, we’ve gathered our best selection of imagery, which Chippa has personalised with hand-written memoirs and scribbles! Fancy a look?