Art with a heart

Mar 20, 2019 | People, Visual Arts

Local girl Zarah Smolders (ten) is passionate about saving our oceans from plastic.

Recently she channelled that passion into creating an artwork for the Hatchery Crusaders Challenge run by the Queensland Museum as a part of World Science Week 2019. Entrants were challenged to clean up a waterway and use the rubbish they collected to create an artwork which represented what they had learned about the impact of plastic pollution on marine life.

Zarah describes her artwork, aptly named Camouflaged Killers, as showing how marine life don’t recognise plastic as a foreign object in their environment because it blends in and that’s why it’s so dangerous.

Her entry has been selected as a finalist and will go on display in the Queensland Museum during World Science Week.

Zarah collected the rubbish from a local waterway in Maleny not far from her house, in fact she walks past it nearly every day. Last year she contacted Council because the area was being used as a dumping ground for old furniture and even household rubbish. Thanks to her email the rubbish was gone a week later.

Protecting ocean life is a long-standing passion for Zarah. When she was seven she wrote to then Prime Minister Tony Abbott when she learned of the Abbott Point Coal Port and the potential impact on the Great Barrier Reef.

Zarah collecting rubbish from a local waterway

She was inspired to get together with her friend and bake up a storm and sell their wares at Montville Markets where they raised $100 for a Great Barrier Reef charity. Last year Zarah raised over $70 for the Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre on Fitzroy Island which she was able to donate in person on a family holiday to see the Great Barrier Reef.

Zarah says, “By doing this artwork I hope to raise awareness of the dangers of plastic and inspire people to use less plastic.”


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