We recently spotted this incredible trash animal on a trip to Dublin. The giant red squirrel was created by Portuguese artist Artur Bordalo aka Bordalo II. Bordalo’s work is strikingly special. He uses waste materials like bumpers, tires, and appliances to give his art an awesome 3D effect. Read on to hear more about his Trash Animal series.
The red squirrel in Dublin is part of worldwide series called Big Trash Animals. The objective of the project is to draw attention to the problem of waste, and it’s negative impact on the environment. Bordalo creates his animals out of the materials that are responsible for threatening their survival. The giant squirrel highlights the plight of the red squirrel in Ireland, endangered through deforestation.
With the production of things at its highest, the production of ‘waste’ and unused objects is also at its highest. I create, recreate, assemble and develop ideas with end-of-life material, and try and relate it to sustainability, ecological and social awareness.
Bordalo was brought to Dublin by Irish filmmaker Trevor Whelan. Whelan and Rua Meegan are working on a documentary of Bordalo’s work, supported by the Irish Film Board. Whelan met Bordalo about two years ago when he was building a Big Trash Animal Toucan from waste in Berlin.
The Red Squirrel Trash Animal was built in under a week. Bordalo arrived on a Monday and began collecting waste. The waste material was gathered with the help of Fingal County Council, Hammond Lane Metal Recycling in Poolbeg, and a yard in Finglas where more material was sourced.
By Tuesday Bordalo started putting together the basic shape of the squirrel. On Wednesday he assembled most of the head and secured it to the wall using bolts, wire, and a cherry picker. On Thursday he finished the rest of the body. Rain paused work on Friday and so Bordalo painted all day Saturday to finish the Trash Animal Squirrel.
Bordalo has been a graffiti artist since the illegal spray paint days of his youth. A large-scale artwork like the trash animal squirrel doesn’t just happen though. There is significant red tape to get approval for a large, prominent space like this. The wall of the Workshop Gastro Pub at the junction of Tara Street and George’s Quay is a prime spot in Dublin! Originally the piece had permission to stay up for 6 months but it’s already been up for a year an a half. We hope it becomes a permanent feature.
Here’s a look at some more of Bordalo’s Trash Animal art:
See more: Bordalo II