Words: Daisy Campbell Images: Daisy Campbell and Onde Nostre

I’ve just sold the original ‘Bella Seea’ to Luca Merli the Director of Onde Nostre! It will be hung in his studio and shown at the screening for the premier of Peninsula. Also it’s going to feature in a book to accompany the film… I couldn’t be more stoked! Dream come true…I asked what intrigued him about ‘Bella Seea’.

“I wanted to own the original in first place because I really like the piece,” said Luca. “And also because the Girls episode has been such a great story to tell and I’ve been so honored that it inspired you that you wanted to do an illustration about it…”

‘Bella Seea’ came from a place where dark meets light. It was the end of winter when I finished it, touching on the start of spring. To me it shows those parallels. It’s a surrealist piece, but you can see it’s meaning, the woman emerging from the dark watery reef, with seaweed as hair…

The first I saw and heard of the Italian project, Onde Nostre was after seeing Girls Girls Girls a short film from their Ritratti di Surf Series. It popped up on social media, via a link from Californian based, Italian born, women’s surf apparel brand, Seea. It was simply mesmerising.

The whole project is shot in only 16 mm, 35 and super8 film, making the visual like a dream, a memory in time. It brought back the soul, the stories, the stoke and the friendship forged within a small community of surfers, to the forefront, which I had never seen on film before.

Here Luca Merli, Director of the project, tells me about what inspired the short ‘Girls Girls Girls’ and of the new movie set to release soon, ‘Peninsula’

“Girls Girls Girls came about as we wanted to talk about some good friends of ours who had the same passion for surfing as well as creative life. I think that they are a good example of inspiring beautiful women and we wanted to celebrate them. We didn’t want to do the classic surf movie cliches, our goal was to get a little deeper on the girls feelings and thoughts about life and surfing. The episode just came along in the edit room…I think the inspiration has been the great time we had filming and sharing together.

We didn’t have much time, we stayed in Sardinia for just a week and filmed over those days, we worked hard, the main challenge was the weather, but we’ve been super lucky…

I knew well one of the girls (Betta Dal Bello) and I asked her to put together a group of girls surfers, she proposed few girls and then we choose according on friendship and affinities with one another. It was  a perfect alchemy.

The three girls of the episode (Amanda, Betta and Natalia) are my inspiration, they all work hard and surf with great style and a big smile on their faces. I like to be with them in the water and out. My inspiration comes from everywhere, from music, films, friends and art. I like from Sergio Leone’s western to punk rock. I like hand crafted work where like Bella Seea…I like rough and crafted stuff from graphic design to hand shaped board… I like custom culture. I like vinyl, film on film, analogue music and everything with a memory…I’m quite romantic I guess…

We’re finalizing our new surf movie called Peninsula ,and then start a tour around Italy and Europe…The film it’s going to be the tale of a journey from north to south to discover and describe where surfing in Italy come from and what it’s like nowadays. We call it a ‘freedom collage’ about surfing and surfers, about friendship and rivalries, about environmental issues, climate and a bit of history. Hope you have a chance to see this film which we have been filming for over two years all along the Italian coastline.”

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