It’s only natural that women would have a different relationship with the sea than men.
But it’s not something that’s spoken about much in the surf world. Easkey Britton is many things—surfer, activist, and scientist among them—but at her core she’s a product of her environment—a proud Irish woman who grew up in the borderlands between Northen and Southern Ireland. A Lunar Cycle is an intensely personal account of her relationship with the ebbs and flows of the Atlantic Ocean in relation to the rugged west coast of Ireland.
Filmed by Andrew Kaineder—a man who’s seen more than his fair share of heavy water—A Lunar Cycle explores a synodic month from a female perspective. The film explores the theme of cycles through dance, poetry, and surfing. Sure the surfing’s not the pinnacle of women’s high performance, but that’s part of the point. A Lunar Cycle includes surfing as a small part of something much bigger, and at the same time continues the development of Irish surfing culture by fusing it with mainstays of Irish expression like verse and dance.
The film’s protagonist, Easkey Britton, is a maverick of Irish surfing. The story goes that, in the 60s, her hotelier grandmother Mary Britton came back from California with two surfboards which she intended to lend to guests. It didn’t quite go to plan, however, and her sons, most notably Easkey’s father Barry, took to the boards and pioneered Irish surfing. And Easkey’s carried on the lineage, pioneering Irish women’s surfing in some of the country’s heaviest waves and even earning a Big Wave Award while she was at it. But that’s not the half of it. Easkey’s also the co-founder of non-profit Waves of freedom, which aims to use surfing as a vessel for social change.
“Our connection to the sea and natural cycles is at the heart of a Lunar Cycle,” says Easkey of the film’s release. “In a society that rewards ‘busyness’ I think understanding the influence of cycles becomes even more important. We all have them, men and women. We’re living beings influenced by our environment and are affected by the cycles of night and day, the moon, the seasons, the tides…” It’s a very pagan philosophy, that man’s relationship with the planet is cyclical in nature, and sadly it’s fallen by the wayside in a big way. But it’s not lost. “I’m beginning to develop a greater awareness of my cycle, and this is what I explore and creatively give expression in A Lunar Cycle,” Easkey says. “This awareness helps me reconnect with my body in nature, understand my own inner ebb and flow, the high cost of being always ‘on’ in a society that fosters a toxic relationship with time, and the equally important need for stillness and reflection.”