|Exhibitor:||Summer Festival, Winter Fantasy|
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Gavin Heath was born in Cape Town, South Africa on October 23, 1961. Gavin was exposed to a variety of cultures and experiences courtesy of eclectic and progressive parents.
At age six, young Heath would meet, play and dance with the tribal cultural known as Ndebelle. He and sister Colleen would circle huge fires, echoing strange and rhythmical chants while anticipating the next ceremonial dance step. By daylight Heath would join the Ndebelle youth patiently watching the elder women methodically decorate their thatched mud dwellings. The brightly painted and highly contrasting geometric shapes and cultural motifs would slowly unfold and most certainly entertain. These were indeed beautiful gifts for all to share.
Heath would revisit these incredible people as an adult and one day pay tribute to their culture and peaceful heritage.
“I remember well the Ndebelle. These proud people maintained their culture, positivism and dignity despite the suppression and exploitation they were subjected to under apartheid.” As one very rebellious and sensation seeking teen, young Heath painted or drew only between prioritized (and generally unapproved) surf excursions. Skipped school, dwindling grades and all the caning associated were easily justified in the mind of a nationally recognized pro/am competitive surfer. Practicing this art and the art of shaping these wave-riding vehicles were clearly Heath’s young obsession.