The story of the lost Octopus

Rocking the Daisies Interview Video link...

















In the old days, sailors would fear the attack of the Giant octopus, a mythological creature with long tentacles and a taste for revenge on these ocean fairing folk. They would break masts off the boats and snap the entire vessels in half.

Fisherman have for many years dumped their old ropes and netting into the open ocean. Where they drift accumulating other debris and a host of other living creatures. I have found pieces along my journey that have been washed onto the shoreline, weaving them together with an old South Korean netting needle that I also found, I moulded the netting over 3 big ship bouyes.

The tentacles I left open, and wanting to fill them with water bottles, I took the creature to the Rocking the Daisies festival. I collected bottles from the recycling depots and passersby, using about 60 bottles. I now had a very big, very real octopus made entirely from plastic.

I decided it needed a swim and sailed it across the nearby dam. 8m long and with two big eyes it was quite a sight.

This leviathon would be the third large creature I was going to install in my exhibit at the Two Oceans aquarium, Plastikos. I wanted to let the sculpture "live" longer in the public eye, and so displayed it on the harbour and asked some school children to play with it. I then took it early one morning to Camps Bay beach. Placing it on the shoreline, dog walkers and other people came to investigate.

The vision of this temporary installation, was to get people to meet the creature, ponder on its creation, and think just maybe that the ocean had somehow made it from all the plastic debris drifting in the oceans. Later on, they would connect tthe creature to my exhibition theme of Plastikos, and the synthetic creatures that were emerging from the mythological floating island of plastic litter.

I left the stranded creature alone for 15 minutes, and on my return it had vanished.
Drag marks led to the main street and simply disappeared. Someone had taken it said an onlooker, I man put it in his boot and drove away.

Stunned, frustrated and amazed were my reactions that someone would be so rude as to take it. I then thought that this part of its journey now, and I can only hope that someday it will return to me.

Have you seen my octopus?