Rishita Sarkar

Year 8
School: Perth Modern School
Medium: Polymer clay, acrylic paint, found object (glass vase)

Artist statement: My ‘protector creature’ was created to protect the Gilbert’s Potoroo (Potourous gilbertii) – the world’s rarest marsupial and Australia’s most endangered mammal. It is a mammal with features inspired by a Pangolin. Smooth dark green scales cover its back and the top of its face. It rolls into a ball when threatened, much like a Pangolin, and these hard scales are its ‘armour’. The outer sides of its limbs are covered in brown fur. Mycreature helps to protect the Potoroo indirectly. It lives above ground, but is predominantly a burrow-inhabiting creature, and as it digs burrows also digs up truffles – the Potoroo’s diet. My creature has glands on its paws and the underside of its tail which secrete hormones/chemicals to coat nearby vegetation, providing a fire-proof layer to protect it from being destroyed, as the Gilbert’s Potoroo only lives in unburnt strips of dense vegetation. It also diverts feral predators such as cats from preying exclusively on the Potoroo, as my creature can serve as a viable food source, though of course it will try to protect itself.

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