Free the Ocean Blog

Sea creatures: the driftwood sculptures bringing joy to Australian beaches during the pandemic - in pictures

Artist Pete Rush’s first driftwood sculpture of a simple horse had such a positive response from locals, that he was inspired to create a whole crowd of sea creatures, made out of natural materials. Rush uses no wire or string in his work, just driftwood, flax and seaweed, and he tries not to disturb natural vegetation. To avoid attracting a crowd of onlookers during a time of physical distancing, he works mostly at night. “In the end, it’s a bit of fun in bad times,’ the Central Coast artist says of his sculptures, many of which are reclaimed by the ocean. Take a look…

PC: Roslyn Donohoe
Before coronavirus hit Australia artist Pete Rush used to paint seascapes for galleries.

PC: Belinda Gibson Be-One Photography
His first driftwood sculpture was a horse on Terrigal Beach.

PC: Kevn Morgan
The positive response encouraged him to make more, so he made a life-sized warhorse for Anzac day.

PC: Roslyn Donohoe
Then came a giraffe and a three-quarter sized woolly mammoth, followed by a 3-metre tall megafauna bird.

PC: Tim Freer
Local photographer Tim Freer played with light to create this image of the giant megafauna bird.

PC: Roslyn Donohoe
The woolly mammoth at Cockrone Lagoon.

PC: Dave Gosling
The wallaby at Avoca beach.