surf photographer mickey smith saluting a breaking wave

Hunros Jorna

Words by Mat Arney, images by Allan Wilson and Mickey Smith & film by Allan Wilson and Mickey Smith



Recollections in Atlantic Reverie

 

Many miles
Mil vildir
On broken stone
Dre gerregi terrys
Scarred, forgotten clifflines
Gorwelow yn ankov ha kreyth
Beneath the raven’s sky
Kigvreyni yn ebron loes leyth
We searched the coast
Troesya’n tiwes

Mickey Smith is a man of heavy water and few words; he lets his art, expressed through a variety of mediums, do the talking. He’s best known in the surf world for Dark Side of The Lens, his 2010 critically acclaimed six minute short that crossed over into mainstream consciousness and introduced his creativity and the waves of consequence that he and his friends have pioneered to the world.

Creatively, Mickey is a renaissance man and his latest film Hunros Jorna provides unequivocal evidence of this. Working again with his friend and collaborator Allan Wilson (Director of Photography for Dark Side of The Lens), Hunros Jorna draws on the pair’s archive of footage dating back to their teenage years in remote West Cornwall, scored by Mickey’s band A Blaze Of Feather and featuring a poem written by him that has been translated and voiced in the revived language of his Celtic homeland, Kernewek, by musician Gwenno Saunders.  It is a multifaceted creative exercise and expression in ode to the people, places, and cold heavy water that formed him.

Despite being the aforementioned man of few words, Mickey was kind enough to share some with us following the film’s premiere in his home town.  You can now watch Hunros Jorna online, at the end of this article.

“In a lot of ways this film has been a lifetime in the making for us. Some of the imagery comes from right back when we were kids growing up in West Kernow [Cornwall, UK]. Some shots are pivotal moments during our lifetimes at sea so far. Others are the way we look at and experience the coast now. There’s a lot of personal content and it was pretty challenging at times going on that much of a deep dive, but we felt it was the best way we to connect us to the heart of what we were trying to say.”

“Winters in this part of the world aren’t blessed with many days of perfect waves. Most of the time it’s pure elemental chaos. Wind, rain, wild water. Growing up in Kernow the most immediate & exciting waves for us were shorebreaks, weird wedges & barely rideable slabs of granite. I’m sure we all would have loved to be able to ride perfect waves back then but having to find the beauty & magic in the strange & imperfect definitely helped develop our eye for signs of different kinds of waves everywhere else we ventured after that.”

“I think we both set out to try and pay some kind of tribute to the heartbeats, lands and seascapes that have given so much to our lives; To translate some of that feeling through the magic of Kernewek. Also hopefully in some way show the kids of these places that if misfits like us can weather all the things we have and still manage to get out into the world and find a little magic each day, then they can to.”

While storms illuminate the towns
Lughes ow kolowi an trevow
That raised our pack of wolves
A fagas agan mayni bleydhes
Beyond the confines
Yn-hons dhe vuryow kadarn
Of harbour walls
Agan porth
Kaleidoscopic glances
Gwelow milliw
From the spaces between worlds
Yntra’n bysow gwiw

 

 

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Hunros Jorna is a Cornish language short film by Allan Wilson and Mickey Smith, translated and voiced in Kernewek by Gwenno Saunders.

The project was supported by Finisterre.


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