Since September 2014, museum staff and visitors have been working with Ghost Nets Australia to create a large coral bombora (or ‘bommie’) sculpture out of ghost nets and marine debris. This collaborative art project aims to raise awareness of threats to marine ecosystems from fishing industries, discarded rubbish and marine debris. All the ghost net and marine debris materials being used for this project have been collected by Mapoon Land and Sea Rangers and volunteers from the Mapoon beaches in Cape York, Queensland.
Close up of the ghost nets bommie in progress, including creatures made from discarded thongs, rope, ghost nets and other marine debris. Photo by Michelle Mortimer.
The sculpture will be on show in our summer exhibition Voyage to the Deep: Underwater Adventures as part of the seafloor environment.
We are continuing to add to the bommie sculpture over the coming months, and encourage our visitors on site and online to contribute their own creative sea creature sculptures to bring the reef to life. All ages are welcome to contribute!
A fish made from ghost nets and marine debris. Photo by Ester Sarkadi-Clarke
Collect your materials
As you can see from the photos of the scupltural ghost net bommie and marine creatures so far, it is made of found materials collected from beaches: nets, rope, bottles, thongs and other discarded objects. We suggest that your creatures are also made of marine debris and recycled materials, or other materials from bushland or parks if you are not near to the coast (remember to clean the recycled materials before using them).
Coral made from rope and fishing debris. Photo by Ester Sarkadi-Clarke.
Think about what types of marine flora or fauna you can create from found objects—there are infinite numbers of creative ideas. Some examples so far include rope-wrapped coral, plastic bottle fish, or starfish made of thongs.
For ideas and downloadable instructions for creating your marine creatures, head to the ‘kids craft’ section of our Voyage to the Deep website.
You can also take a look at our Flickr album to see some of our creatures so far and to follow the progress of the reef as it continues to grow.
Share your work
Share your creation with us to have it added to the sculpture. You can visit the museum in person to bring in what you have made or come along to one of our summer Ghost Nets Weaving Workshops.
If you can’t make it to the museum, you can still contribute! Email a photo of your marine creatures to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll add it to our virtual ghost net reef on Flickr. Please include details of the marine life that you were inspired by, and the found materials you used to make your creations. You can also post creations via mail to the museum:
Australian National Maritime Museum
2 Murray Street
Sydney, NSW 2000
We look forward to seeing what you make!
– Ester Sarkadi-Clarke, Ghost Nets Project Intern
You can contribute to the ghost nets bommie before Voyage to the Deep opens on 9 December 2014, and throughout the duration of the exhibition until 27 April 2015.
Read more about ghost nets and this bommie project on the blog post Creating art from ghost nets, and find out more about the important work of Ghost Nets Australia on the Ghost Nets Australia website.
This project is proudly supported by Blackmores.