On this day two years ago we sadly lost a friend. Todd Webster was an influential Australian skateboarder, significantly in Canberra where I knew him most, and where a large chunk of his earlier years were spent. I really only found out truly about how much Todd shredded on a skateboard when I had the honour of collating all the photos of him to show at his wake. What a legend.
Those of us who had the privilege to hang with Todd would know his cheeky sense of humour. He was a hilarious bastard, always making me laugh. His flourish of tattoos is a great example of that. Who would get a beautiful naked lady with groucho marks spectacles and a fat nose and moustache on their forearm? I didn't necessarily think of Todd as the most overtly good looking dude, but he somehow managed to charm the most beautiful ladies. I remember he came back from a trip one time with a photo of actress Rose Byrne and him. His response when I asked how he managed to achieve that was, "Just talked to her, easy mate!" And he added some other quip that made me laugh which I can't remember.
I never really thought of Todd being an 'artist' per se, but when I look back I remember so many rad projects that Todd got up to and I realise he was massively creative in everything he took his hand to. This was something I learnt more about when we gathered info to put in an application for a plaque to be installed for him at the perimeter of Belco bowl. What he achieved was admirable.
My love of photos were partly inspired from Todd. He had a new digi-camera which he brought down to the pub one day, and to my horror 'accidentally' dropped it in a beer! Then to my astonishment, he promptly began taking photos with it. It was one of the first waterproof ones. A little later we used to see who could get the best light-stream photos using slow flash sync speeds with the developing technology that you could fit in your pocket. Awesome times.
I've been thinking a lot more these days about our Aussie male tendency to 'neck up,' and to not talk about having troubles. Todd used to also love saying it - "Neck up ya parrot!"
I can’t help but think about what difficulties he might have been having that he couldn’t talk about. That’s something we’ll never know.
There’s a little project that Todd had shared that our friend Claire Sutton aka ‘Custards McSeedly’ has taken up. It’s about ‘Australian Scrawl.’ Todd wanted to collect photos of the hilarious dribble that’s carved into the backs of toilet doors and sketchy spots and put them together into a book. One of the most classic photos that's seen of Todd is something of that nature.
Check it out and if you’re interested, send in some photos: