Unspoilt Pelican‘Unspoilt’. My entry in the 2015 Revive art prize. Made almost entirely from plastic waste melted together with a heat gun, there’s no glue. I went out to the Moruya breakwall, a popular fishing spot, and quite easily collected half a sack of bait bags and fishing rubbish, line, hooks, food packaging, plastic bags, in the caverns inside the granite boulders that form the breakwall. This was just the plastic that hadn’t been washed away by big seas, I shudder to think how much more goes straight into the sea. I took the rubbish home, soaked it in Napisan for a day and then hung it out to dry. Next I sculpted a clay form of half a pelican and began to melt layers of plastic over it, building it up until it became a thick skin. Then I sculpted the other half of the pelican and when finished fused the two halfs together over an armature supported on the ubiquitous fishermans bucket.
The plastic pelican is called ‘Unspoilt’ because our regions tourism bodies are trading on our ‘unspoilt’ natural attractions. Soon after I sculpted this my daughter noticed one of our local pelicans was tangled in a long length of fishing line. Australian Seabird Rescue caught it after 6 attempts and cut off the fishing line, which had started to cut through its wing. That line is now tangled around the feet of the plastic pelican. Eurobodalla, there’s still a few bits of it that are ‘unspoilt’.