Portugese artist Bordalo II’s work is rubbish…literally. “It’s not about turning the trash into something beautiful, it’s about creating images of victims with what kills them.” Bordalo II
Bordalo II continued his ‘Big Trash Animals’ series of sculptures at Nuart Aberdeen recently with a nod to Scotland’s national animal – the Unicorn. The piece, which is made entirely from end of life materials gathered from Aberdeen and the surrounding area, alludes not only to the threat that pollution poses to animals but to the human race, our dreams, customs and ideas.
With Scotland being famed for its love for, and long history of, myths and legends, it’s no surprise that Bordalo II picked up on this fabled creature and its significance within Scottish cultural heritage.
The unicorn was first used on the Scottish royal coat of arms by William I in the 12th century, perhaps due to the popular myth that it is the only animal capable of killing a lion – the national animal of England. When Scotland and England unified under the reign of James VI of Scotland in 1603, the Scottish Royal Arms had two unicorns supporting a shield. When James VI became James I of England and Ireland, he replaced the unicorn on the left of the shield with the lion to show that the countries were indeed united.