Dundee City Council approached ScrapAntics in 2020, asking us to create a giant whale sculpture for the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) held in Glasgow, November 2021.
The aim was to raise awareness of plastic pollution and sustainability by involving local school pupils – illustrating how young people can be part of the climate change solution. This in turn enabled the children to take responsibility for their environment and show how we can all be proactive in helping our sea life.
The finished whale sculpture, Moby, over 10 foot long and covered in beautiful jellyfish created by pupils, was exhibited at Hubfest in Dundee, with a video documenting the entire project featured on Dundee’s stand at COP26 in Glasgow.
The whale has a very strong connection with Dundee both through the city’s river connection and the Tay whale, which is on display in the McManus Gallery. COP26 is focused around humanities’ impact on nature and this project brought an awareness of the way that plastic impacts our sea life, particularly the use of plastic bags.
The Project was led by Rhiannon Moore (Rio) who also designed and sculpted the whale. Local jeweller and designer Katie New was commissioned to help facilitate the school workshops and assemble the jellyfish.
One of the aims was to encourage schools to work through the Green flag Award, which is a visible indication of the school’s commitment to Learning for Sustainability and an internationally recognised accreditation for excellence in sustainable education. Local schools put themselves forward to participate, and four were chosen; Rosebank Primary, St Pius RC Primary, St Mary’s RC Primary and Craigiebarns Primary.
160 pupils from these schools participated in local beach cleans held in collaboration with Plastic Free Broughty Ferry and also collected waste plastic at home. During a series of workshops the pupils up-cycled plastics, including many donated by local people and businesses, into accompanying colourful jellyfish and embellishments for the whale.
The workshops were filmed by Ali Whyte and Elaine Maher. Ali Whyte also created and edited the accompanying film which was utilised for the Dundee COP26 stand held in Glasgow.
Moby was visited by the public whilst being made by Rio at our space in the Wellgate Shopping Centre and then presented when completed at Hubfest, a huge local event opening the new cycle hub near the waterfront, celebrating sustainability and highlighting climate change.
The event was also attended by Storm, an incredible and awe-inspiring giant puppet created by VisionMechanics, who knelt beside Moby – creating a beautiful, dramatic moment and bringing huge crowds. Lydia Smith documented Moby’s meeting with Storm at Hubfest in Dundee.
Moby will be on display at Dundee Science Centre, Dundee and Angus College and Dundee Library before finding his final home, suspended in the atrium of the Wellgate Shopping Centre. Being in these public spaces with high footfall for prolonged periods of time will enable many more people to be enchanted by Moby, engaging with his message of sustainability, recycling and the prevention of plastic pollution in our seas.
“Our project is creating an important conversation with the children and our community as a whole, about our use of plastics, making ethical choices and how our actions impact the planet’s future.” – Rio Moore, Lead Project Coordinator
“It’s amazing that something like this can be made from recycled materials!” – Hubfest attendee
“This is a great chance for the kids to learn about sustainability in a fun way.” – Hubfest attendee
“We need more like this, recycling is so important and we must teach our future generations about it.” – Hubfest attendee
A huge thank you to our funders Dundee City Council, particularly Senior Sustainability and Climate Change Officer Naomi Clarke, and the schools who took part, for making this project possible.
Thank you to our talented artists Rio and Katie, as well as photographers Ali, Lydia, Elaine and Debz. Also to the rest of the ScrapAntics team who helped so much along the way, especially; Sandy, David, Chas, Kate W and Kate T.
Appreciation to Lewis Mullay (Café Manager) at Café Unique (Ryze) for donating lots of their used plastic, Halfords in Dundee for the cardboard and Love Your Planet in Broughty Ferry who kindly became a drop off point for collected materials.
A massive thank you to all our various customers and contributors for not only getting involved in the beach cleans but also donating materials and coming out to show your support… we really couldn’t have done it without you!