Split Students Create Mermaid Mural Out of Plastic Waste

Daniela Rogulj

November 21, 2018 – For Mediterranean Coast Day, which this year placed Split at the center of the international celebration, Split students of the School of Fine Arts created a mermaid mural from plastic waste with the message “Save Our Sea”. The artwork is located at the city harbor as an appeal to the importance of preserving the Adriatic Sea to everyone coming to Split by sea. 

“In addition to numerous, multi-day activities, workshops for children, exhibitions, underwater cleaning actions, lectures and expert meetings held in Split, organized by our Center in September, we wanted to leave a permanent message from the Mediterranean Coast Day. We contacted the Director of the School of Fine Arts, Mr. Bilankov, who had readily received the initiative, and Professor Hanna Letica and her students, with great enthusiasm and creativity, took on the task. Director of the Port Authority of Split, Mr. Vice Mihanović, was delighted with the proposal and his colleagues immediately found a suitable wall in a visible area with the professor and started outlining, painting and preparing the surface for setting up this beautiful installation by these young creators,” explained Željka Škaričić, director of the PAP / RAC Center, who started the initiative and collaborated with the School of Fine Arts.

We agreed on everything in July, so the Port Authority used the school holidays to prepare the wall. Upon returning to school, Professor Hanna Letica started to draw up a sketch and concept with the students and started collecting plastic waste from the land and the sea, which was used to create this unique wall. 

“A sketch by Duje Prlić was chosen for the mermaid – Duje is a student of the painting department who worked mostly on the body. His classmates Ema Jelača and sculpture student Filip Glaurdić worked on the face and the rest of the tail. The composition of blue tones was done by the students Stella Roso and Sara Andrić who have really done a great job, and every member of our team who participated in the assignment was very valuable and committed to this project,” professor Hanna Letica said congratulating her students.

“The mermaid is made of plastic waste – caps, Q-tips, straws, old toys… and it was done in many stages. It was indeed a complex and demanding task, but regardless of their youth, our students did this heroically,” she added.

Mediterranean countries, due to economic growth and tourism development, are facing even greater environmental challenges, so these initiatives and clear messages in public spaces are all the more necessary. Given the demonstrated creativity and talent, other institutions, companies, associations, and representatives of local government are invited to design projects for refining public city surfaces and content and include Split schools and faculties, the professors, teachers and students.

To read more about Mediterranean Coast Day, follow TCN’s dedicated page here


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