Fish statue by Portsmouth artist Pete Codling to appear at Gunwharf Quays seafood festival

A sketch of the fish sculpture that will be at Gunwharf Quays for the seafood festival June 28-30 'Picture: Pete Codling
A sketch of the fish sculpture that will be at Gunwharf Quays for the seafood festival June 28-30 'Picture: Pete Codling
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A huge fish will be displayed at the Portsmouth Seafood Festival this month in aim to educate the public about the environment.

Community artist Pete Codling is raising awareness about the plastic crisis through a ‘uniquely Portsmouth’ sculpture.

The big fish sculpture that is to appear at the food festival at Gunwharf Quays with artist Pete Codling.

The big fish sculpture that is to appear at the food festival at Gunwharf Quays with artist Pete Codling.

It will be at the festival at Gunwharf Quays from Friday, June 28 to Sunday, June 30.

The large fish will be hollow to allow it to be filled up by the public with plastic bottles, which will be emptied and recycled. Inside will also be a life size man on his mobile phone, who will still be visible as the bottles fill up.

Pete said: ‘It’s a comment on how we are all aware of the plastic crisis and its effect on the environment but we, like many other things, ignore it.’

The ambitious piece is inspired by the shape of Portsmouth’s 'star and crescent' motif, with a mix of the 'Jonah and the Whale' story and the artist’s previous work.

Paula Ann Savage and Ben O'Brian making the little fish

Paula Ann Savage and Ben O'Brian making the little fish

He is working with Treadgolds Heritage Museum in Bishop Street, Portsea, recycling scrap metal and old metal working tools and hardware, as it needs to clear the building for its own restoration project.

After 10 years as the lead artist at the John Pounds Centre, and 30 years’ experience in the field, Pete said it was ‘nice to be working with the local community’ again.

Pete has also worked on local artworks like St Edmund's School gates, John Pounds Community Centre, and Arundel Street Precinct.

The piece will additionally feature small wire fish made by the local community, which will become the scales on the bigger fish.

The artist is inviting the public to see the fish on its journey to life, at the Heritage Museum and take pictures before the big reveal on June 28.