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Pedotle thrills the crowd at Toowoon Bay

Visitors to Toowoon Bay Surf Club last weekend excitedly welcomed the first ever appearance of the 'Pedotle'.The Pedotle is an interactive sculpture designed with children in wheelchairs for everyone to enjoy. Pronounced per dottle , its part pelican, part dolphin and part turtle. It flies, blinks and even farts bubbles.

The Pedotle at Toowoon Bay with sculptor Leo Uribe and Stingray Nipper Bailey Peat.

24 February 2023

 

“THE Pedotle celebrates the Abilities of our wheelchair participants rather than focusing on their DISabilities” explained Karen Hickmott, Stingray Nippers Group Coordinator.

 

Dreamed up by the Toowoon Bay Stingray Nippers, the Pedotle became a reality with the help of artists Andi Mether and Leonardo Uribe from Zest Events, sculptor Tom Ireland and costume maker Tegan Kinder. The project was commissioned by Creative Arts Central.

 

Federal MP and member of Toowoon Bay Surf Club, Emma McBride was on-hand to welcome the exotic creature to Toowoon Bay.

 

“Andi was talking to me about this on patrol about 12 months ago. The idea of a pelican, turtle and a dolphin, pitched by Bailey, and then to see what Andi, Zest and Leo have been able to achieve is absolutely incredible.”

 

Stingrays Nipper participants Bailey and Krystal were the main inspiration for the design of the Pedotle. Krystal has cerebral palsy and is non-verbal, the mechanics of the sculpture was based on her abilities. Bailey took part in the artwork brainstorm sessions and was the main inspiration for the Pedotle’s colourful look.

 

“Both were very excited to operate the sculpture and make it fly, in fact Krystal didn’t want to let go”, said artist Leonardo Uribe.

 

“The Stingrays are children with additional needs, and volunteers at the Toowoon Bay Surf Lifesaving Club (SLSC) work with them” explains Andi Mether who is also a volunteer lifesaver at the Club.

 

“There is freedom for children in wheelchairs when they get in the water, and we wanted to create an interactive sculpture that would give them some of this fun and freedom on land.“

 

You can find out more about the Look Mum Watch Me project, including how to have the Pedotle appear at your next event by going to zestevents.com.au/lookmumwatchme

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