What do you get when you put a propeller, a gramophone and a tripod together?

In a world first, a ‘Sonic Marine Stress Detector’ with manual sounding alarm can be seen at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

After a decade of relentless shark attacks along the east coast of Australia, the Department of Fisheries introduced shark nets in 1936.

Within five years shark numbers had been decimated along with a horrific number of other marine creatures.

By 1942 the surfing community had banded together and employed local marine biologist Sirhc Rettort to create an invention to prevent further such deaths.

Mr Rettort created a prototype. Unfortunately funding dried up at the same time as surf wax prices went through the roof. The concept never went into production.

Unnecessary deaths of many marine creatures caught in shark nets still occur even to this day.

Sonic Marine Stress Detector at the Ipswich Art Gallery

This is a glimpse into the mind of sculptural artist Christopher Trotter.

The Boonah visionary sees things that most of us, would not.

His ‘Sonic Marine Stress Detector’ may be fictitious but this alternate reality is also based on facts.

“I wanted to think of new ways of measuring things that help us live more harmoniously with the environment,” he said.

“Wouldn’t it be great if you could hear the sounds of whales underwater, or work out where the areas are that are over fished, so you can pick another spot.”

The Ipswich Grammar old boy’s latest exhibition Foreign Bodies: New Work By Christopher Trotter is currently on display at the Ipswich Art Gallery.

“This exhibition is different to other exhibitions I have done because I haven’t welded anything,” he said.

“I wanted smart, clean connections so it looks like it was meant to be, like it grew there itself. It’s not forced in any way.

“I like to draw on impossible realities, crazy thing that look like they could actually work.”

Trotter’s artwork connects with people from all walks of life.

“My creations are accessible, and they invoke memories. The objects I use are from all kinds on industries. One part might be from a farm and another might be from the docks and another might be a naturally shed antler,” he said.

This latest exhibition is not the first time Trotter’s work has featured in Ipswich, you may have seen his Rail Rocket on the Brassall Bikeway.

“I have completed 44 public artworks since 1994. I think my style of art suits Ipswich because the history in Ipswich is amazing,” he said.

“It has a long history with rail and mining and I enjoy working with heritage pieces.”

Foreign Bodies: New Work By Christopher Trotter is showing at the Ipswich Art Gallery,
d’Arcy Doyle Place, Nicholas Street, until 22 July.

The gallery is open daily from 10am until 5pm and it is free to visit.

Create. Inspire. Ipswich first.

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