Don’t shoot the shaper p.35
By Richard Leydier
How do these two different techniques, shaping and painting, nourish each other?
I love surf; it’s what pushes me to continue to shape and to paint.
I still have within me the dream of a child who, on reading Surfer or the books of Hugo Verlomme, wants to give life to those childhood images that lurk in his subconscious. Certainly my boards and my designs are more a need to render my childhood memories, not in a realistic manner, of course, but as in my dream.
Whether through shape, sculpture, paint or design, the yearning to create is the same. It’s not only technique that must be mastered, but one must research and study throughout one’s life. It’s the same for most professions. My greatest pleasure is to pass from design to sculpture and shape, one nourishing the other, and always seeking to learn anew.
You have one foot in the Pays Basque, and the other in Oahu.
Hawaii was always in my heart. To pass a little time there, to have been there during incredible moments when the story of surf was written, is important to me. Even though at 50, the dream of surfing a true Sunset or Pipe is long gone, the magic of the place remains.
Certainly, the Pays Basque will remain in my heart. My house is here. But so much has changed. Many friends have left, while hoards of barbarians have invaded, sweeping aside the romanticism that was surf before it turned into a sport.
The antichrist arrived with his stand-up inflatable, his survival suit, and his special reef sandals. He seeks the ultimate sensation as described in Figaro’s latest special on the Pays Basque: party wave with the hipster longboarder and the Kelly wannabe who shaved his head more to hide his baldness than to resemble his manufactured surfing idol.
I prefer to stay far from all that and to hold onto my dreams
My inspiration comes from the past, always searching, listening to the old ‘talk stories’, surfing the boards of other times, listening to the simplicity, and trying as much as possible to render homage to the surf that remains. And it’s certain that the ideal environment to draw on for creative energy still exists in Hawaii. But it, too will change, little by little, as has the Pays Basque.
What are your future projects?
To continue to create, less with boards, more with sculpture. There might be an expo this autumn. I would like to gather all the media I have explored over 30 years in one space, similar to the one I will show at Polu Gallery (Haleiwa) this winter.