This Leatherback Sea Turtle was commissioned by the Oregon Country Fair (OCF), summer 2015. It was a collaboration between myself, Annie Douglas, and many amazing volunteers! The intention of the piece was to shed light on some of the problem materials at OCF. The shell of the turtle is made from Asceptic containers (soy milk and the like), other upcycled materials, and bamboo.
Inside the turtle is a representation of the Pacific Gyre, now known as the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Leatherback Sea Turtles’ existence is threatened by all of the plastic in the ocean. They and countless other marine animals die from ingesting plastics each year. OCF is situated on the Long John River, which feeds into the Pacific Ocean. The piece connects how what we do on land ultimately affects the oceans, and the entire world.
One of my favorite moments at the fair was when a five year old boy told me how leatherbacks favorite food is jellyfish and that plastic bags floating in the water look just like jellies, and so the sea turtles eat them by mistake, and how awful that is. He was spot on. Listen to our children! They know what’s important!