Mary River Turtle: Endangered Species
As part of the Bathing with Mary exhibition the Artist chose to highlight the possible extinction of the Mary River Turtle, an endangered species, unique to the Mary River, whose existence is threatened by pollution and predators.
The early gold rush years and the logging industry have seriously changed the turtles' natural habitat, and depleted their food source.
Where once the turtles' nesting banks were pillaged for the 'penny turtle' trade in southern pet shops, ironically human intervention is now needed to protect the nesting banks from animal predation.
Sally thought the turtle would be of special interest to children, thus informing them of environmental issues and the importance of the future conservation.
The turtle, with its dual prehistoric and space-age appearance, has been much cliched by popular culture and part of the artistic challenge has been to restore dignity to this magnificent ancient species.