The Beach is Back at Back Beach Noosa
A passion for surfing has taken writer and editor Phil Jarratt around the world dozens of times and led him to discoveries not just of secret surf breaks but of the art and artifacts of many coastal cultures.
And although the Noosa resident has written more than 20 books, ultimately his discoveries have resulted not in a book but in a gallery and store. Phil and his wife Jackie have opened Back Beach Noosa Gallery and Coastal Collectibles in Noosa Junction with original art from many of the world's leading beach and surf artists, classic photographic prints, collectibles from Hawaii, California, Mexico, Sumatra and France, Australia's best collection of antiquarian surf magazines and books, and authentic Hawaiian lanai decor and soft furnishings.
"Basically it's a collection of all the stuff we love to surround ourselves with," says Phil. "I'm a collector but I don't care much for putting things in boxes and forgetting you own them. I like stuff you can see and use that puts you in mind of the greatest times of your life. It might be a painting of a favorite surf break or a paddle you got from a guy in a dugout, or a cushion from a fabric print that takes you right back to Hanalei Bay, Kauai. I'm guessing there aren't many people in Noosa who don't love the beach, so we're hoping they'll also love our collection and how these things will suit their own beach house."
Although they have lived overseas for most of this decade, Phil and Jackie Jarratt have always kept a home in Noosa and an emotional commitment to the place they moved to as first generation Sea-Changers in 1990, helping found the iconic Noosa Blue magazine. Says Phil: "We've loved the other places by the sea where we've lived, but for us there was never any question that this was where we'd wash ashore for good, and the best beach resort in the world seemed like a good place to create Back Beach, the best beach culture shop."
The Jarratts have drawn on a worldwide network of artist and surfer friends to create a totally original look. From Hawaii they have the quirky water colours of veteran artist, film-maker and publisher John Severson, who founded Surfer Magazine, and the vibrant art of former world champion surfer Lynne Boyer, now one of Hawaii's most popular artists. From California, legendary surf photographers Jeff Divine and Dan Merkel are represented, while in Australia they have plumbed the archives of photographers John Witzig, Bob Weeks and the late Rennie Ellis, and painter Tony "Captain Goodvibes" Edwards, and gathered exquisite pieces from contemporary artists such as painter and surfboard sculptor Richard Harvey, linocut artist Rachel Newling, photographer and woodworker Robert Ashton, shell sculptor Kathy Etherington and Sunshine Coast painter Blair MacNamara.