“Neon dust fell from the black night skies. 

First-hand accounts of the Sighting describe the specks to be immensely vibrant, like fireflies softly falling to the earth. Bright. As if a single firefly was glowing for a hundred. Falsely tangible, for when reaching to touch, they passed through our human flesh as if we weren’t there.

Like atoms that have grown, expanded into our visible world. 

Most are still sceptical if it even happened… 


…until today’s discovery. 


By the river, not far from the Sightings, a glowing form emerges from the Earth. It’s growing slowly, pulsing… it’s alive. It thickens and branches like a coral or fungi, but it appears to consume the compounds of plastic like we repurpose organic matter into our forms. 


…Is this the answer to our plague of plastic?

…Is it conscious?”

…Was this decrepit shovel purposefully chosen?


With this work, Rhys builds upon a fantasy concept that currently consumes his thoughts - of an alien consciousness landing on Earth. With each sculpture and concept, the story unfolds. 

The sculpture features a shovel found by the Werribee River, that almost completely blended into the rocks and rubble, decomposing, unseen. He contrasts this with plastic litter (in the prior form of tree collars and trimmer line) easily found in its stark form, a challenging material to return to the Earth. This was cleaned, heated and reformed, and paired with 150 individually programmed LEDs to create the encroaching form propping up the shovel before you. 

Artists from Melbourne’s Western regions draw inspiration from their local environment and communities as their playground.
This prompt invites artists to be collectors, editors and curators using their local environment’s objects, recordings, sounds, images as their raw material and inspiration for an artwork. Exploring how their art practice changes the function of the chosen object offering new perspectives and beginnings.

Response to Prompt

"Plastic has become a natural resource in my current world".
This thought circled my brain during the time of ideating for Recollection.
Rubbish crossed my path everywhere I went, no matter how 'wild' I seemingly was. A negative yes, but I considered the perspective of opportunity, in a survival or... creative settings.
Having recently moved to Werribee, the river called me, and I knew I wanted to create a light sculpture with found plastic waste.
I had in mind that a found object would also be part of this, but I needed to go out in search.
Plastic treeguards, used in revegetation projects, were abundant. They made up the bulk of the light sculpture.
A lost/forgotten/discarded shovel was found and made up the structural contrast to the plastic.