THE MARINE DODO

The Marine Dodo (2018)
Scrap metal and beaten aluminium

Inspiration:

My inspiration for this piece first arose post my Pecha Kucha presentation mid October and my tutorial regarding the crypt show. Having to think of ideas centered around the church and at the same time reading Rachel Carson’s book's on the sea, helped me formulate my idea for this piece.

This piece was originally titled Íchthys' during the crypt show but I find 'The Marine Dodo' more fitting as the 'Dodo bird' is a known widespread symbol of extinction. The Dodo went extinct only a century post its discovery thus stating the problem of human involvement in the disappearance of entire species.

The concept of overfishing first came to my attention post reading her books. Overfishing is the removal of a species of fish from a body of water. Taking on the advice from the Pecha Kucha discussion, I started to look at indigenous fish breeds and found the Spanish Toothcarp, a freshwater fish that inhabits the Iberian peninsula of Spain and Portugal.

The Spanish Toothcarp is almost extinct with a 50% decline in its numbers in the past 10 years, as it has been displaced by invasive fish species called mosquitofish. The reason for its extinction are a few of the larger problems stated in Rachel Carson’s books such as water contamination and habitat destruction.

 

A book by Arthur Kirchhofer and Daniel Müller titled ‘Conservation of Endangered Freshwater Fish in Europe’ also helped my understanding of the endangered fish species found around Europe and measures taken to protect them from extinction such as law enforcements.

My inspiration of the video’s I made with my work came from various artists. Mandy Barker’s piece entitled ‘Hong Kong Soup:1826’ and Max Linoion piece entitled, ‘Gyre: the plastic ocean’ represent plastic waste found in water bodies. The executive director of Washed Ashore; Angela Haseltine Pozzis, is also an inspirational artist. ‘Washed Ashore’ is a non-profit organization with a mission of creating awareness about marine debris and plastic pollution through art.

 

 

Method and interpretation:

Having the crypt as a space and being inspired by all the above, I finally set into motion with my artwork. I switched my original idea of ceramics to this as I found this installation better than my original idea of chalices.

 

I used beaten aluminium for the fish where I originally used wax first to design the fish. I then cut out the fish from flat aluminium pieces and wielded them onto a curved rod I made of metal. The fish was used to denote Ichthys (sign of the fish or Jesus fish), but also represented the armature of the Spanish Toothcarp as they can be golden in colour with bulging eyes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

The Marine Dodo (2018)
26x26 inches
Beaten aluminium
The Marine Dodo (2018)
26x33 inches
Scrap metal

I depicted my interpretation of seaweed under water made with scrap metal. I found pieces of aluminium rods in my college dumpyard and someone had also given me some aluminium balls which I cut in half and stuck on top of the rods to denote seaweed/plants under water. I then proceeded to paint it black to denote the lifeless black sea due to overfishing.

The Marine Dodo (2018)
Video

The first video is my piece of the seaweed/plants under water with a video of the Spanish Toothcarp taken from youtube and then meshed together to denote a healthy sea and what we ought to strive for by being kind to the environment.

The second video is that of my piece with the scrap metal with plastic floating around in the sea as we are polluting the earths water resources.

The Marine Dodo (2018)
Video

Conclusion:

I would like to end by saying that I made this piece with scrap metal so as to show all the waste material people throw out and dump into waterworks. Life under the sea will get exterminated due to the dumping of toxic waste into water and due to overfishing until we change our ways. Overfishing can be overcome with smarter management systems, that is via fishing rights being properly implemented which leads to long term health of a fishery and of all the water bodies. Waste dumping into oceans can be managed through recycling awareness and treated sewage waste among other necessary steps needed towards saving the environment.