Wednesday, November 7, 2018

The Blue Whale

These days the The Blue Whale has become the symbol for plastic pollution and the ill-health of the oceans. Artistic interpretations are washing ashore everywhere. This form of public art, as crowd pleaser and selfie-site, is certainly entertaining, but it also offers tons of educational possibilities. A few years back we were on a whale-watching excursion near the Farallones, lucky enough to have a Blue come up for a breath right near the boat. Astounding—it took its breath and kept passing by and passing by and passing... We are thrilled that there is an upwelling of interest in this most magnificent of creatures. 



In our own San Francisco hood, the version below, commissioned by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is strategically placed adjacent to the Greater Farallones Sanctuary visitors center on the lawn of Crissy Field. It's a popular destination for walkers and dog walkers, frisbee throwers, kite flyers, and tourists interested in the view—hundreds of passersby will have an opportunity to experience it. Besides its size being quite the spectacle, you just can't beat the Golden Gate Bridge and the SF skyline for dramatic backdrops. 

Kudos to Bay Area artists Joel Dean Stockdill and Yustina Salnikova. Here is a fascinating MakeZine story and a short video about the project and how the tiles were made. 







Although we were invited to submit a proposal, our Plastichenge—"Times Up" did not make the cut. We do have BIG ideas about how to best actualize The Blue Whale vision. Instead of anthropomorphizing it into the shape of a whale, we suggested making the size and weight in the dimensions of a real whale 80' x 20' x 25'  300,000 pounds. Imagine bales of plastic from Recology set on Crissy Field stacked like the behemoth or arranged like Stonehenge.



Or since China is no longer accepting all of our recyclables, how about a barge tethered under the bridge, stacked with 300,000 lbs. of bales.



All this whale news got Judith thinking about the whale she made in 1987 with a class of 4th graders at Westwood School in Napa so she dug out the old pics. It was big news back in 1987 (how prescient was that?) and is so glad that whales continue to be big news today.









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