The artwork consist of a 9m life size plush Orca that looks like a Sylvanian Family toy. – See below how you can help captive Orcas.
My cousins had these Sylvanian Family toys when we were little - and I found them extremely adorable - the most adorable of all toys. I never owned any, sadly, and now I have this tattoo of a toy my mom did not buy me as a child. In some way it is a symbol to me of how even people the closest to you can still not understand your biggest desires or fears even if you voice them - feeling ‘lost in translation’.
It will be nice having a giant Sylvanian family animal of my own at last- in the form of a plush whale. One still find these toys today, and I have some in my toy collection I started as an adult.
Another reason for making the Orca life size and realistic in shape is because one of my other biggest desires is to see one of these majestic animals in the wild. It is number one on my list of things to see and do whilst I am alive. I cannot imagine how humbling seeing a creature of that size must be.
The reference of 'Sylvanian Families' to the migration crisis and the vocal resemblance it has to 'Syrian Families' is also intriguing to me.
It is interesting to me that humans choose to go to festivals like Afrikaburn to escape the life we created - in a way that we need some release from it in the form of habitat change - or we would go crazy.
Animals such as Orca have long evolved from landscapes such as the desert where whale bones are often dug up (used to be ocean). Re the title ‘Superdry’ - referring to the habitat that became unsuitable due to no water: It is 'Super Dry'.
To me it is an indication of how humans are in some ways moving 'back' evolutionary speaking.
Our greed and ignorance displace these animals to an environment that is completely unsuitable for them - forcing them to go crazy in return.
The title was inspired by a dream where my sister gave me a miniature male Orca and I wrapped him in plastic and ignorantly placed him in my expensive 'Superdry' handbag (I don’t own such a bag in real life).
In the dream I took the plastic off and in a horrified state of the worst guilt I tried to revive his limp body under the tap, whilst seeing my reflection in the mirror every time I looked up from trying to revive him in my hands.
In another dream I had, I touched a large male Orca in a sea like pond filled with Monet lilies. His tale was made of fur - I never got to touch him. This often happen in dreams of Orcas - I so badly want to touch them, but somehow in my dream something or circumstance prevent me to.
I want the giant teddy to represent the souvenirs you buy from the shop at Seaworld after the show. I will place giant tags on them - embroider with the title - 'Superdry' as it is on the Superdry logo.
Interestingly Superdry is one of the most copied and widely ’faked’ fashion labels. The words: Syrian Families will replace the Japanese lettering above Superdry. This enhances the idea of ‘lost in translation’, both between humans as well as between human and animal. The word 'sylvan' means 'of the forest'.
These toys are ‘families’ consisting of little animals dressed in clothing - with 'dinner table' sets and kitchens, baby strollers etc. This obviously enhances the idea of ‘Westernization’ and 'the American dream'.
This is a comment on how European and American countries view the rest of the world and vice versa. In making my Orca look like ‘Sylvanian Families I aim to directly comment on political, humanitarian issues such as the migration crisis, and how humans too are often displaced just like the Orcas.
What is interesting to me in making a ‘teddy souvenir’ and why I want my whale to represent such a teddy, is that people watch the show of a Killer Whale with a collapsed Dorsal fin at Seaworld, yet the one you buy at the shop after the show has a perfect Dorsal fin.
This to me is such a great example of just how selectively ignorant people can be.
It relates also to advertising, television and media. This in turn could be related to the migration crisis and many more political happenings, as well as relating to Seaworld and Orcas directly.
We are told to watch the show, buy the teddy (it is for conservation), but we ignore what the real meaning is, we don’t see what is lurking below the surface. Lastly I want people to be able to hug him –He will have a sprayer where his blowhole is, so that people are drawn to cool off by him (almost like a show) every other hour or so. The dorsal fin will be bendable with an attachment - so it can be displayed either upright or bent (I like this as these are giant 'toys'). When lots of people hug him, his fin will be happy and upright.
His fur will be soft and shiny, and when stroked people’s hand marks will leave beautiful patterned marks on the Orca. I love this, as we all leave our print on the things we touch and that touch us.
In the future I plan to have him at as many events as possible. The plan is to raise awareness as wide and far as possible, all around the world.
Faux Fur, 550gsm PVC, Nylon, Velcro, Zipper, hosepipe, water tank, electric air blower
9000 (length) x 4500 (width) x 3800 (hight) mm / 354.3 x 177.2 x 149.6 in