Big Splash dolphin design celebrates neurodiversity

Hospice Isle of Man’s 2022 Wild in Art fundraising campaign The Big Splash – a public art project featuring more than 30 individually designed dolphin sculptures – has inspired students from University College Isle of Man (UCM) Foundation Learning to name ‘their’ dolphin Diversity.

Students each paid one pound to enter a competition to choose a name for the UCM dolphin, raising £62.30p for Hospice in the process and winning student Sarah Kelly coffee and cake for two in UCM’s Annie Gill café for coming up with the name Diversity.

The Diversity dolphin’s design, a collaborative effort by UCM Foundation Learning students, includes waves of blue, green and purple stripes, an ombré body and overlayed images of stars and symbols to represent the group’s diversity.  The project involved students with more complex needs who were able to join in and help to paint the dolphin.

The students researched symbols for neurodiversity and found butterflies, hearts and infinity rainbows. Some drew them by hand, while others used iPads. Bridson and Horrox printed the stickers to be cut out, including some of the hidden disabilities’ sunflowers which Diversity the dolphin wears on a lanyard.

UCM lecturer Heidi Danaher said: ‘This was a great opportunity for students to conduct some research, learn new skills and communicate within and outside of UCM.  Jen Adams from Manx Whale and Dolphin Watch inspired students with facts about dolphins and their habitat, which helped to bring the whole project to life.

‘We’re delighted to be a part of The Big Splash community project for Hospice and have learned so much throughout the process.’

The Big Splash art trail runs from Friday May 27 to Monday September 19. To find out more, visit thebigsplash.im

The Big Splash Isle of Man 2022