Have you ever fancied escaping the rat-race, a chance to stop running and start living? Drift has been talking to Fern and Damion who have done just that and set up a new life living in a rain forest.
The Australian couple alongside five year old son Jake and Peanut the English Staffordshire terrier puppy live about an hour south of Sydney in a cedar A-frame house on poles in a sub tropical rain forest valley. They ended up seeking solitude and empty waves after spending many years in Australia’s craziest city beach, Bondi.
They now live in a Royal National park roughly equal in size to the whole of Sydney, which is home to numerous points, reefs, uncrowded beaches and has enough space for Fern to keep her horse, Tex, nearby.
Sounds Idyllic? That is because it probably is…
Fern is an artist and textile designer who is passionate about keeping alive the hand drawn and handmade in this age of ‘electrickery’. Her work is heavily influenced by her wild and free 70s childhood where she grew up on the pristine north-east coast of Australia, during the ‘Age of Aquarius’ where nature and imagination was all. She obsessively illustrates and embroiders a fantastical world in which surfers and environmental activists win the battle over developers and corporate giants.
Fern is heavily influenced by her wild and free 70s childhood
Fern loves living on Earth, spending her time in the wooden treehouse she shares with partner Damion and in her overgrown vegetable garden. She embraces a lifelong love affair with horses and dogs and spends way too much time in the company of both her Clydesdale, which she can’t really afford, and Peanut, who really does smell like roasted nuts.
Damion is all about making friends and making surfboards. A passionate surfer, surfboard collector, surf historian and surfboard shaper in love in equal parts with the rugged beauty of the ‘Coal Coast’ south of Sydney and the rich surf history that is held in the beaches and points of Southern California. All his time is spent finding, riding, studying and talking about old surfboards. He lives by the surf swap motto of ‘buy high, sell low, enjoy the ride!‘
His vast collection (think more museum) is from the ‘Innovation period of surfboard design’ he told Drift.
“I studied industrial design and have loved surfboards my whole life. As an industrial designer I’m interested in them from a functional, hydrodynamic point of view, how they work and why. Culturally I’m interested in the people, characters and places that went into creating them. Artistically I’m interested in them as unique hand made pieces of art or sculpture.”