Artist : Florence Gutchen
Medium: Ghost net, Rope and Twine
Size: L:34 x W:39 x H:4cm
The turtle is significant to the people of Erub both as a tribal totem and as a traditional source of food for feastings and celebrations. A number of varieties of turtles nest and breed on the shores of the Torres Strait. Turtles are important to Torres Strait Islanders in so many different ways. It is one of their traditional tribal totems and it has been part of their customs to hunt turtles as one of their main food sources. In Australia, abandoned fishing nets (also known as ghost nets) from boats are washed ashore, trapping marine species such as turtles and dugongs. Sadly, these turtles make up 80 percent of the marine life found caught in these nets. As an environmental project, Erub Artists are utilising these abandoned ghost nets in an attempt to clean up the oceans. Their objective is to raise awareness about the negative impacts of ghost nets by creating art such as this turtle out of reclaimed fishing nets. We must respect the ocean because we need to make sure that we have turtles for the future. We only take what we need.