New Liverpool sculpture highlights plastic threat

Tidal Shame, by artist Gail Dooley depicts a ceramic gannet entangled by authentic sea plastic and detritus collected on beach shores and will be displayed on The Liverpool Plinth. Tony McDonough reports

Gail Dooley
Artist Gail Dooley with her sculpture ‘Tidal Shame’ on The Liverpool Plinth


A sculpture highlighting the danger to marine wildlife of waste in UK waters is being unveiled on The Liverpool Plinth on Tuesday.

Tidal Shame, by artist Gail Dooley depicts a ceramic gannet, a seabird common in Liverpool, entangled by authentic sea plastic and detritus collected on beach shores across the UK and Merseyside.  The work will be in situ on The Liverpool Plinth for the next 12 months.

The Yorkshire based artist creates work exploring conservation and the survival of the animal kingdom. The sculpture will stand on The Liverpool Plinth, looking out to the UNESCO World Heritage Waterfront, reminding viewers of the impact of waste on wildlife, especially sea birds. 

Gail said: “The ceramic bird depicted in Tidal Shame is a gannet trapped by authentic sea plastic and detritus collected on UK shores, including along Merseyside’s coastline during lockdown.The sculpture is my response to the shocking levels of global marine pollution.” 

READ MORE: Coastal wetlands are the ‘superheroes’ of the planet

The Liverpool Plinth is a public art partnership between Liverpool BID Company, dot-art and Liverpool Parish Church. Tidal Shame is the third sculpture to be installed onto the Plinth, helping to enrich public spaces within Liverpool’s commercial district. 

Tidal Shame was selected after an open call to artists based in the North of England. It aas chosen by a panel which included representatives of the local arts sector, the city council, the BID and the church.

Lucy Byrne, director of dot-art and a member of the panel, added: “The work was selected just as the UK went into lockdown, so we’ve called on people living along Merseyside’s coastline to support Gail in collecting sea waste on our beaches.

“It’s a work that reminds us of the continued global challenge around climate change and how it impacts the wildlife around us. I’m grateful to our partners who have continued to support us at this difficult time and to be able to champion public art reminds us of our shared spaces that belong to us all.”

And Bill Addy, chief executive of Liverpool BID Company and chair of LVEN (Liverpool Visitor Economy Network), also said: “Our public spaces are important like never before and public art has a vital role to play in reflecting society back towards us.

“It has a power to force us to challenge ideas and we’re delighted that such a timely work will be installed in Liverpool’s commercial district as visitors and businesses return.”

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