Shropshire Star

Toby's Turbo Dolphin is art with a 'porpoise'

Is it a rocket? Is it a plane? Is it a fish?

Toby with his Turbo Dolphin.

Actually, it's The Turbo Dolphin, a thought-provoking piece of artwork taking shape in Telford.

The artwork is taking shape in a Telford business unit.

It has the porpoise (sorry) of showcasing skills being squeezed out by the modern low-cost fast-fix culture, while delivering a message that if humanity is to progress and flourish there have to be people out there who are prepared to take risks and build... well, things like Turbo Dolphins.

With its fishy fins, stainless steel thruster nozzle, and elegant aviation-style curves, it looks like something from an old sci-fi magazine, but there's no engine and it doesn't fly, although when completed people will be able to sit in the cockpit and let their imagination rip.

Behind its creation is Toby Southan, 29, from Shrewsbury, who started work on the aluminium sculpture in February and, while it has no practical function and when completed he won't be surprised if it's cost him around £150,000 in time and money, it will have a point.

Toby with his Turbo Dolphin.

He said: "I'm saying freedom, innovation, prosperity. Without the freedom to tinker, to play, humanity very quickly can become impoverished. If you squeeze out this opportunity for people, through short-time preference cr*p, you might not notice it now, but eventually this is how empires fall.

"I want to inspire thought and imagination. I would like parents and kids to sit in it and inspire a bit of rule breaking. You need heretics in the world. They are thinning out. They say innovation is one of the misunderstood necessities of human progression.