2011, Oil on Linen, 100 x 200cm
Inspired by a true story: In January 1992 the cargo ship Ever Laurel was caught in a North Pacific storm, spilling overboard several 12m containers holding 28,800 duck bath toys.
The first beaching was in Alaska, some 1500km away. Over the years there were more along the US West Coast, Russia and Hawaii. Tracked by scientists, the ducks’ journey has shed insight into ocean currents and wind patterns, spawning computer simulated models, articles and books. As a fable on the consequences of globalisation and the reality that is oceanic pollution, they have inspired artists and writers.
Against the vastness of the ocean, this childish plaything, man-made and indigenous to the bathtub, evokes the indomitable spirit of the first epic ocean voyages.
And in a parody of Herman Melville’s 1851 classic Moby-Dick, the out of scale human element adds whimsical curiosity to this quixotic 20 year odyssey.