sculpture with a difference is being created at the Voyager NZ Maritime Museum
Schoolchildren and the public are invited to join Skeleton Sea artist João
Parrinha to help create a sculpture of a Whale’s Tail made from beach trash as
part of the Volvo Ocean Race’s Keep the Oceans Clean! environmental project.
More than 40 volunteers joined the Motuihi beach clean-up last Saturday to
gather up flotsam and jetsam to use for the sculpture. They were surprised at
how clean the island beach appeared.
“It’s a problem that we have with this beach. When I was here a few days ago
there was very little rubbish,” said Jacqui Smith, co-ordinator of the Keep the
Oceans Clean! campaign.“ It is beautifully pristine. I’ve got a little handful
of a few things I did pick up so it’ll be interesting to see what you find as it
is all going to be quite small and hard to see.”
John Mills, Resident Ranger from the Department of Conservation, explained
that although the beach looked debris-free, much is carried by the wind and
tides from Auckland City. “There was a party on the beach here last night so you
could find anything!” he said.
The volunteers came from all walks of life: some visitors, some residents;
all sharing the common goal to keep NZ green. It was “a day to get out and enjoy
the outdoors” for the Holder family with their two boys Ethan & Jacob, who
read about the event online, and for Maxine and 8 year old daughter Ramatu, “a
chance to help out & do some good.”
As both John & Jacqui emphasised, it is the little things that cause the
most damage: penguins swimming into plastic that wraps around their body causing
drowning or birds ingesting bottle caps causing death.
The clean-up volunteer team became super sleuths. Lifting up a piece of
driftwood or using a foot to move washed-up seaweed quickly uncovered plastic
lids, string, bits of glass, plastic six-pack rings and more.
By the time the group gathered at the wharf to board the ferry back to
Auckland, it was mission accomplished. An ample supply of flotsam and jetsam had
been gathered ready for Parrinha to start sculpting.
Pupils from local Auckland schools will help create the whale’s tail with
Parrinha in conducted workshops in daily workshops until Thursday as part of the
Schools Programme and on Friday and Saturday the workshops are open to the
If you want to learn more, Parrinha is holding an informal presentation about
the story behind Skeleton Sea - their artwork and experiences at The Dome Cinema
in the Volvo Ocean Race Village on Wednesday 14 March at 6:30pm. This is a free