David Day, an artist from North Queensland, has transformed thousands of discarded flip-flops into a life-size tidal wave. The sculpture, which Day describes as a testament to the importance of ocean conservation, took six months to create. “I’ve caught many a wave in my day, and I’ve been smashed into the sand plenty of times too,” Day, who has been incorporating marine debris into his work for the past four years, told ABC Australia. “Ultimately, I would just like people to think about our marine creatures and the ocean, and try and make a cleaner environment for everyone to enjoy so it can keep living long after we’re gone.”
Gathered from a beach near Day’s home in Shoal Point, some of the flip-flops offer tantalizing glimpses of their pasts.
“You can see the teeth marks on this one,” he said, gesturing toward one of the 1,400 pieces he used. “Looking at the marks, you can tell it would have been a fairly big shark.”
Others have foreign writing or designs. One particularly memorable flip-flop, swaddled with fishing line, revealed its former owner’s attempt at repair.
“You wonder where it came from because people here probably wouldn’t go to that much effort to repair their thongs,” he said.