Margaret Breidenbach
Undergraduate, Visual Arts Studies and Nursing

Death Immortal
transformed recycled plastic

Plastic’s inability to degrade is making it increasingly obtrusive in natural environments. Its growing presence in the ocean is causing the endangerment of marine species such as the sea turtle. Sea turtles’ inadvertent consumption of plastic causes sickness, starvation, and death as the material slowly decomposes within their system. 

This sculpture is a memorial for a sea turtle that has died due to its consumption of plastic. The flowers and the turtle shell were created through the deconstruction and transformation of plastic bottles. By ironically memorializing a life with the material that lead to its demise, this piece reflects how plastic’s growth is leading to the environment’s decay. The loss of organic life in this piece is emphasized by the presentation and lack of color within the piece. The memorial setting, consisting of the white circle bordered with flowers, creates a somber atmosphere while viewing the turtle shell. The suspension of the shell adds the effect of the turtle leaving this life, emphasizing the possibility that this endangered species as whole may leave the environment in the future.