Can You Sea?
If you spot a seal on the corner of St Andrews Terrace and High Street, Willunga, you’re not seeing things and it hasn’t wandered up from the coast.
The wooden sculpture is a new temporary public artwork – titled ‘Can You Sea?’ – from Willunga Waldorf School year 12 student, Indiana Noon, who hopes you’ll heed the rubbish-strewn marine mammal’s message.
“I created this sculpture as part of my year 12 project,” Indiana says of the seal, carved from cypress pine and caught in a web of rubbish, which was strewn around the site by Indiana, other school students and members of the community.
“I wanted to explore ways I could encourage the younger generation to take notice of their natural environment and the ways they could impact it.
“This is my way of combating the climate crisis we’re facing. I liked the idea of depicting a marine animal because the oceans are a part of our world where it’s harder for us to see the impacts of pollution.
“This presentation of a graceful, innocent creature tangled in a web of our littered rubbish is a very upsetting yet very real representation.
“My aim wasn’t to make something that would dishearten the viewer, but rather to inspire community members to consider their actions and decide where to make changes in their lives for the benefit of the natural world – and everyone in it.
“I believe that raising awareness will lead to action.
“Council were great to work with – they were very supportive and willing to help me and I’m very grateful.”
Indiana approached City of Onkaparinga in July after noticing the site, which formerly featured a sculptural work by the artist Lucas Robins, was vacant.
Council’s public art officer, Anna Hughes, then worked with Indiana to gain the necessary approvals to temporarily place the work on this site.
“Indiana is a passionate and talented young artist and it was great to work with her and see this impactful piece come to life,” Anna says.
“It’s already having a great response from the public.”
The City of Onkaparinga is home to many talented and creative people, with one of the highest concentrations of artists per capita in South Australia.
Council has a focus on fostering young artists in the community through awards and initiatives such as the Onkaparinga Youth SALA Mentorship Program.
Can You Sea? will run until 15 October. For more information on arts and culture offerings in the City of Onkaparinga, visit the website, which includes an interactive online map featuring public art across the region.