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12-foot whale tail sculpture on display in ESI

Whale Tail Sculpture displayed at ESI

A creative and environmentally aware teenager from North Devon has designed and built a whale tail sculpture to raise awareness of the impact of single use plastic. The sculpture, which is made from 1500 recycled water bottles, is currently on display in the ESI building on the Penryn Campus until the end of term.

14 year old Hatty Rousseau built this 12 foot humpback whale tail using water bottles collected, with the help of cleaning staff at Pilton Community College, over a five week period. Hatty cleaned and stored the bottles in her bedroom for months whilst the idea for her sculpture grew. There were so many bottles that Hatty had to move them out of her bedroom when she had friends to stay before moving them back in again.

Hatty went to a small primary school with just 50 pupils before starting at secondary school and being shocked at the amount of waste that was generated by its 2000 pupils. Her interest in the effect of plastic on the environment grew over the next couple of years and she started to find ways she could get involved; including attending local beach cleans and raising £360 for Plastic Free North Devon by selling homemade keyrings and jigsaw puzzles.  

After meeting with a local sculptor for advice, the whale tail was built entirely by recycled materials over six months, before being displayed in her school for eight weeks. After a stint in the ESI, the whale tail will make its way back to North Devon where it will be displayed in the Barnstaple Library.

Hatty is currently working on her next project ‘Jellyfish’ and has plans to study and work in environmental engineering after leaving school.


Date: 9 January 2019