PETER ¡°JOLI¡± WILSONA pillar of the surf media for the last four decades? Well it's kinda true but doubt Peter Wilson would want to be spoken of as such, because pillars aren't too mobile.
He was found in Torquay in the late 60s with a camera in his hand, and was eventually put to use by the crew at Backdoor Magazine (Doug Warbrick & Brian Singer Rip Curl founders, Michael Gordon, Dick Hoole, Jack McCoy) where he became the fix-it guy for the burgeoning surf newspaper.
Ever since, photography has taken him down some interesting paths: from a young long-hair calling the PR shots amid the buzz cuts of the Australian Defence Force; to head of staff at Deakin University's photography department; on the road covering Prime Ministers, rock royalty, and the Dalai Lama; to a long stint with Quiksilver as their Australasian marketing, media and promo guy.
He continued to shoot surf the whole time and thus took photography down some interesting paths as well, with his dual signature of blade-sharp action and high exotica.
Mrs Joli (Jan)
The duo set up an itinerant newsagency/stock photo library and before even fax or internet they were filing images and reports from all corners of the globe, and in the process ¡°Joli¡± became the most prolific surf photographer in the game.
While technology has changed, the talent and the work ethic have not, if anything, these traits have become even more refined: mobile pillars gather no moss. He¡¯s currently senior contributor to just about every major surf magazine you can think of, and a couple more on top of that.
As Peter packs for his 213th trip to South Africa, not a lot has changed since his teenage years when he struck out from inland Ballarat to the surf town of Torquay (Bells Beach); thumb in the air, arm wrapped around a board, shoulder carrying a camera bag, and his head full of cool ideas.
- Jimmy O'Keefe