Fukushima Plover's Nest

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30.00 (cm)
6.00 (cm)
28.00 (cm)
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This piece refers to the Fukushima nuclear power station meltdown and its long term effects. It was produced for the Avian Architecture themed exhibition at 2019's Potfest in the Pens.

The power plant failure caused widespread radioactive pollution, and evacuation of a large area. At the time of making, the pottery villages in the area were still evacuated, and the potters didn't have access to their local clays either - I'm not sure if that is still the case.

Plovers create very vulnerable nests, just making a small depression in the shingle and laying their eggs into it, and the vulnerability of their nest alludes to the vulnerability of the environment around Fukushima. Their eggs are not normally bright orange, but a more camouflaged colour - though the increased likelihood of genetic mutations could increase their vulnerability by changing the eggs' colour, as portrayed here. Also, this colour was achieved using a lead/uranium glaze, two elements that are strongly associated with the nuclear industry.

This piece is political but not visually confrontational, just looking like a bird's nest on the beach. If you like birds' nests, or walking along beaches, you may want it just as a decorative piece. But, lurking underneath that decorative facade, there is a political message that will come out with the right explanation!