Year 9 students completed a mini research task on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists who use recyclable materials for their works of art. We focused on Erub Arts Collaborative but also looked at other artists such as Wanapati Yunupiŋu who etches into street signs.

Artists from Erub Arts Collaborative on Erub (Darnley) Island in the Torres Strait Island transform ghost nets (abandoned fishing nets) to create dynamic sculptures of marine animals and environments. Ghost nets drift with the ocean currents and tides, continuing to catch fish, trapping and killing marine fauna in the process. Indigenous rangers, who care for their country in Northern Australia, clean up the nets and rescue entangled wildlife. The nets are then used by the artists to create works of art, bringing to light the irreparable harm that discarded nets cause to local marine life.

The students brainstormed issues that were impacting our local area in Port Lincoln. Plastic litter was raised but students noted that because supermarkets had banned plastic bags recently there had been a reduction of this type of rubbish on our beaches. However, other debris such as the turquoise plastic rope (seen in the Bruce the Shark sculpture) and sea glass is frequently found on beaches and prevalent in some areas close to town. Students created a sea creature endemic to the waterways around Port Lincoln, and by using the waste materials, highlighted how this unwanted material can impact our wildlife.
- Annette Kelson, Art Teacher, Port Lincoln High School