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IntroductionThe Mythology and Beauty of Tahiti
Teahupoo is the name of a legendary wave off the Tahitian coast. Myth tells of an indomitable, life-threatening wave that simply cannot be tamed. Until a brave young woman surfs it, that is. Naturally, this causes an uproar. The King of Tahiti, who was known to be the bravest man on the island, did not want to be overshadowed. Not to be outdone, he made many attempts to conquer the wave, but it was not to be. Teahupoo was too mighty for him.
Australian artist Tim McKenna takes on Teahupoo with an artist’s tools, creating breathtaking photographic works that capture the beauty and power of the legendary wave. He draws on many years of experience as a surfer and action sports photographer, working for major publications and magazines in the field. For his work, he has surfed breaks on all seven seas, swum with schools of sharks, and summited snow-capped mountains in Kamchatka.
Where is paradise on earth? According to many 18th century colonial explorers, it is in the South Seas. James Cook and Louis Antoine de Bougainville were especially fond of the island of Tahiti, with its friendly people and spectacular nature. It quickly gained a reputation as a paradise on earth, antithetical to the rigors of life in western society. To this day, the Island in the South Pacific inspires daydreams – and Tim McKenna’s art draws on that.
A Passion for the Sea
Internationally acclaimed photo artist Tim McKenna lives in Tahiti with his family and spends most of his time in the water. Again and again, he trains his camera on the sea, eliciting the magic of its turquoise and white hues, of its tumult and tranquility. His artworks are a nod to nature’s majestic beauty. The vivid, tropical-paradise colors capture the power of the legendary Teahupoo wave, a reef break that still poses a challenge to the world’s best surfers.
Tim McKenna’s passion for the ocean was, and still is, the driving force behind his outstanding work. The Australian artist is a long-time surfer and acknowledges being happiest when he is in the water. His works recreate his passion in a stunning way, inviting us on a mental journey to Tahiti to enjoy the sweet sounds of the ocean and the majesty of Teahupoo.
McKenna’s fascination gave rise to a book in 2007 called Teahupoo, Tahiti’s Mythical Wave.Bio
1968 Born in Sydney, Australia Lives and works in Tahiti