Photographer offers a glimpse into the 1960s beach culture of Australia’s Gold Coast
Graham Burstow, a photographer who visited Australia’s Gold Coast every summer during the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, has released the eye opening images he found during his travels.
The Gold Coast, a coastal city in the Australian State of Queensland, is a metropolitan region south of Brisbane which saw a significant boom in popularity which grew from the ’60s and boomed in the ’80s. In what is often banded as Australia’s imitation of Miami with it’s bodybuilders, bikini contents and surf beach culture, Burstow was on hand to capture the change of direction.
“In the 1970s the high-rise buildings were going up,” he said in an interview with Vice Australia. “I used to walk in to photograph them pulling down the old beach houses. And that’s something that’s different—you can’t get cooee of a demolition now,” he added. “It looks different but I think the culture has some similarities.”
With so much debauchery going on at the time, Burstow explained that the excessing “drinking and yelling” became a little stressful but allowed him to capture his subjects in a unique way, explaining that he enjoyed taking groups shots which he had in abundance. “I want to see people interact with each other, rather than just me. If you stick a camera in someone’s face you always get a false feeling from them. People just carrying on with their regular lives—that’s what I wanted to see. I always thought there was more feeling in those photos.” he said.
Burstow has since collated his work into the book ‘Flesh: The Gold Coast in the 60s, 70s and 80s’ which focuses on the “transcending time and place and speaking directly to the heart”. The book explains that Burstow was on hand to capture everything from “sun girl quests and tug-of-wars to beer belly competitions and surf lifesaving events”.