Chris Stirk of BushNBeach Artwork is a real character and this reflects in his very kitsch shop. He reckons he's got heaps more at home and I can only imagine. Chris is a really nice guy to talk to and will give you the time of day and happily share his stories. When I first noticed the store I thought 'wow, what a place, I just have to check it out'. If you're walking past and think like me, 'hey, I'm going to write about this place', trust me, it's been done many a times before. It seems Chris is quite the celebrity.
A shop crammed with a nautical theme, you may wonder what the teddy bears are doing there. They're made by Chris' mum and sold at the shop.
He's lived in the area for 35 years but grew up in Reservoir, Preston and has had his shop for over 20 years. A surfie from way back, he's always loved to surf, fish and paint. He's a self taught artist and his love of the ocean is often captured in his artwork. He specialises in surf scenes. He reckons he will set up the art room again and pick up the paintbrush over the coming year if he has enough time.
He sells bait, tackle, nautical things, beach-boxes, shells, starfish, ocean gifts, artwork and collectables. He tells me he has a quirky house (I'll bet) and he has been featured on Burke's Backyard 15 years ago and on Totally Wild 6 years ago. He was also involved with SeaChange the TV series, inviting all the artists to his home on opening night and painting the artwork on the kombi-van used in the series. This van was used for a Variety bash that went to Bourke and Broome in the name of charity to raise money 10 years ago
If you're planning on visiting BushNBeach in Barwon Heads, best to ring Chris on 0414 776 784 to make sure he's open. At this stage he's only open on the weekends but things may change over the summer months. As he said, he's the boss and therefore the opening hours are not always standard. He's invited me to come visit his house one day which is meant to have an underwater theme with murals in the kitchen and a full size hang glider hanging from the ceiling and surfboards hanging from the roof. How lovely that we celebrate our differences. Call Chris if you're interested in his artwork or want to place a custom order. He does interior and exterior wall murals and picture framing is also available. He's not really into computers and does not have a website or Facebook page at this point in time.
Amidst the pics, the kombi van Chris painted for the tv series SeaChange and a surfboard chair also painted by Chris