Pin It
Photo_ Jens Ziehe 4

Katharina Grosse has customised eco-friendly surfboards

The partnership with eco organisation Parley for the Oceans aims to make marine plastic pollution extinct

We’re all in agreement that we need to save the turtles and protect our oceans from ongoing environmental devastation – the latest endeavour to do so comes from German artist (and avid surfer) Katharina Grosse, who has collaborated with the conservationist organisation Parley for the Oceans to create 20 eco-friendly surfboards.

Displayed at the Gagosian gallery in New York, the boards are made from sustainably sourced wood and reducing foam, and feature colourful, beachy designs. Grosse, who is best known for her use of bright, acrylic paints sprayed onto large-scale sculptural surfaces and her trippy material installations, used abstract strokes of hyper-saturated oceanic colours to reflect the erraticism of the sea. “It's an amazing feeling to swim through swirling underwater sandstorms while the water shapes the land,” she explained.

All profits go towards Parley’s Global Clean Up Network, an alliance aimed at banishing marine plastic pollution to extinction. Previous projects from the group include a collaboration with Adidas to create high performance footwear and clothing from upcycled plastic waste, and a new uniform for New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby team.

Cyrill Gutsch, founder and CEO of Parley for the Oceans said in a statement: “When we started seven years ago, artists formed the inner core, the backbone of our network of creators, thinkers and leaders.”

He continued: “Today, Parley has the support of millions of people around the world, but the artist remains a key ally in our battle against marine plastic pollution. With her contribution, Katharina not only funds projects with high impact, she translates our cause to an influential audience in society. We are grateful and encouraged, inspired really, to have her support. For the Oceans!”

Grosse’s work is part of a wider shift happening in the creative industries which has seen a surge in engagement with the climate crisis. Art Partner recently launched a competition which invites artists to creatively respond to climate change. Judged by industry leaders including Wilson Oryema and Harley Weir, the chosen entries will be shared at the annual UN climate change conference in a bid to probe the government into zero carbon emissions by 2050. Similarly, many musicians have used their voice as advocates for change, including The 1975 and Radiohead frontman, Thom Yorke.

If you’re feeling gnarly, totally rad, and ready to save the oceans, check out the surfboards below.