I decided to enter in memory of Rupert, an old friend who was in the crew of a Brixham trawler, in the late 1980s when I first met him.
I wanted to represent the sea and the pressing global problem of plastic pollution in our oceans, with an estimated 8 million tons of plastic entering the oceans every year. Fish and other marine creatures ingest plastic or get tangled up in it, and many die. Some of them may reach the human food chain. It also creates huge problems for fishermen and others who make their living from the sea, who have to deal with the plastic trawled up amongst their catches, caught up on trammel lines and in lobster pots.
I documented the creation of my fish on Instagram under #fishmishcod. The final layers of varying shades of turquoise, green, various blues and silver were applied with various tiny sponges, as was the white surf on the crest of the wave. I have included a ‘raft’ made from strands from pieces of plastic rope found during various beach cleans. As I unravelled the rope, my clothes and the floor became covered in bits of plastic.
The plastic floats on top of the wave and this fish, the Plastic Surfer, has escaped – this time!