Leo Fitzmaurice: Litter

Litter is about doing a double take and having our perceptions challenged. Leo Fitzmaurice created the work after mistakenly thinking he had seen a group of white rabbits grazing in a field, only to realise on closer inspection that they were rubbish bags whose tied handles resembled ears.

That same image also works at YSP, where we are used to seeing rabbits in the landscape. However, it is quickly apparent that this is litter, seemingly thrown onto the ground, and this is initially shocking to see – something that is amplified in a rural context. Then the next realisation is that this isn’t in fact litter at all, but an artwork about it.

Fitzmaurice has used bronze – a precious and durable material of traditional sculpture – to cast an everyday object of no worth, something that has been thrown away. In doing so, he comments on the prevalence of waste in our society, an often thoughtless approach to littering, and the way that the plastics and other materials we discard endure in the landscape just as bronze does.