2008, Xandi Kreuzeder & Louis de Dios
Material: FlipFlops, Steel; Size: 250 x 200 cm
After the big Flipflop search on Fuerte’s coastline and with a lot of help from friends and fellow surfers, we finally managed to gather some 250 single flipflops that had been washed onto the shore. Kuki and Xandi built the fish in a non-stop 24-hour effort, right on the beach of Praia Esginzo. For the film project, they carried the fish into water and let him swim… a small gesture to the world.
The Flip-Flop Fish was created in just over 24 hours on the beaches of Fuerteventura in the Canary Islands, and represents a shared vision of the meeting point between nature, sport and art.
Inspired by the flotsam and jetsam encountered on their numerous remote treks to secluded beach breaks, Xandi and Luis decided to kill two birds with one stone: first, by doing their bit for the environment and then by creating a piece of art in the process – a unique piece of art to help raise environmental awareness from the perspective of those people that rely on Mother Nature to feed their passions for sport.
Joined by a small army of fellow volunteer collectors, Xandi and Luis set about collecting discarded beach trash, and it wasn’t long before an idea grew into a firm plan of action. Reflecting on their efforts to collect discarded objects along the coastline, Luis said: “It was absolutely amazing to see how many discarded flip-flops we came across. Looking at them piled high, it dawned on us that they might resemble the scales of a futuristic tropical fish. And so our Flip-Flop Fish concept was born.”
With the evening sun already setting over the horizon, Xandi and Luis began construction using nothing more than a generator, welding gear, a circular saw, metal fencing and hundreds of flip-flops. They worked non-stop through the night and throughout the following day, capturing the imagination and interest of passing beachgoers. A warm late afternoon scene welcomed the completed installation, before the two artists walked their creation into the waves lapping the shoreline and set it free.
Reflecting on the message behind their Skeleton Sea Project’s latest installation, Xandi said: “It’s more important than ever for people to do their bit to protect the environment, even if it means just picking up just a few bits of rubbish at their local beach. Who knows, if we continue at this rate there might be more flip-flops than fish in the ocean one day. We hope that our creation will inspire others to be creative and do their bit for the environment. If our message gets through to just a few peoples, then we believe it’s been worth all the effort.”