Some people, sweet and attractive, and strong and healthy, happen to die young. They are masters in disguise, teaching us about impermanence.
His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama
In the early afternoon of Father's Day, 4th September 2011, 21 year old Kyle Burden was killed by a great white shark whilst bodyboarding at the Bone Yards surf break at Bunker Bay. It was a very rare event in a spectacularly beautiful place.
Nature is art
The Bunkers Bodyboarder Sculpture stands as a sentinel over the Bone Yards surf break in honour of Kyle and others who surf this break. It is a tribute to the remarkable bravery of the men who swam out to rescue Kyle that day; and a thank you to the surfers who ran to warn others, the emergency services who attended, and the extraordinary police officers who supported us.
The Sculpture is intended to remind us that we should not go through life fearing the worst, or waiting for the extraordinary. We need to appreciate and participate in the everyday things that give life its true meaning. Without some risk there is no real reward.
The artist, Simon James, has created an artwork that represents the important role that the surfing culture plays in the lives of the people who live in this region, and the freedom and simple pleasure of being a part of nature itself. The colours represent the idyllic waters of the Indian Ocean, and the ochre granite of the headlands that envelope the bay like embracing arms.
The wording of the plaque reflects some of Kyle's own words, and his liking for philosophical musings.
It serves to remind us of the beauty of simply being a part of nature, and to protect what we often take for granted. It is about the simple acts we do each day that add value to who we are and how we exist.
The Sculpture is also a way for the family and friends of Kyle to thank everyone who provided support throughout our long journey. It is a beacon for us to come and spend time at this remarkable place.
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