Around the time Covid hit last year, beach-walker Arturo Hernandez and his then one-year old son Naolin started collecting small bits of rubbish on their daily walk on Peregian Beach.
“Every day. In rain, wind, it didn’t matter” Arturo says “we collected plastic, Styrofoam, cigarette butts, ghost net, all sorts of stuff between Beach access 64 and 65, south of the village.”
Gradually, Arturo could see how much he and Naolin were picking up in just that 200 metres of sand, and he wanted to somehow turn it into a message.
Since arriving from the Mexican coast a few years ago, Arturo was keen to connect with his new local community in Peregian Beach and he became a regular in the PBCA bushcare group.
PBCA environment coordinator Rochelle Gooch put Arturo in touch with another keen bushcare volunteer and artist, Vicki Bradbury, and the surfboard idea was floated.
Vicki named the piece Beach Artifacts from an Anthropocene Age, and said people haf difficulty believing this object of beauty was comprised of beach rubbish.
She tried to enter it in the national art competition run by Gympie Regional Gallery, but was told the surfboard was 30-centimetres too long according to the rules.
Vicki said the new Community House currently being built in Peregian Beach might be an appropriate home for it.
Arturo says the recycled surfboard isn’t the end of this story. He will continue picking up rubbish, volunteering at PBCA bushcare and teaching his young children to care for their beautiful beach.