In an A-frame house situated sixty kilometers north of Sydney, there’s an Aussie illustrator who the world needs to know about, and her name is Fern Levack. This week, she launches Aloha to Zen: The Art of Surfing and Living on Earth, an illustrated A-to-Z coffee-table book for adults and kids alike. It’s not only entertaining, it’s downright educational, and we can all take a page from Levack’s eco-warrior stance on healthy living. It’s a world where ethical slogans such as “Plastic-Free Oceans,” “Dirty Politics Makes Polluted Seas,” and “Happy Sharks, Happy Ecosystem” reign supreme as modern-day mantras. Three years in the making while juggling motherhood for the first time, the book comes complete with cameo appearances from ocean superstars such as Jacques Cousteau, Captain Paul Watson, John Kelly, and Eugenie Clark (a.k.a. Shark Lady).
Upon turning the first few pages, it’s impossible not to be drawn in by Levack’s utopian surf scenarios; the result is very much a bewildering type of “Where’s Wally?” experience as the naked eye ponders important topics, ranging from permaculture and conservation to sea-life extinction and politics with a philosophical twist (i.e., “End Antarctic Whaling and Enlightenment is Yours”). Think about it. Coinciding with the book’s debut this week are the first in a series of awe-inspiring homewares guaranteed to blitz international shores. A selection of embroidered cushion covers pave the way for further releases later in the year, including tea towels, surf maps, calendars, and ceramics. Wipeout!
Photos: Courtesy of Linlee Allen