Hull Maritime Museum and Whaling Collection

The whaling collection at Hull is mentioned in Moby Dick and is, therefore, a very special place.  The whaling gallery at Hull Maritime Museum is one of my most inspiring places and I visit it as often as I can.  The skeleton of a right whale and models and paintings of ships have all influenced my work.  In addition to this in May 2014 I visited the Historic Trawler Arctic Corsair moored on the river Hull and they were kind enough to let me photograph many of their old charts of various North Atlantic locations.  These photographs have been a valuable resource and have turned up in several of my textile pieces.  For example this Polar bear skull (from the polar bear in the Hull whaling gallery) is made from one of these charts digitally printed onto textile.

Polar Bear II (Hull)

Digitally printed textile and freehand machine embroidery

Recently they have had a small collection of whaling related objects available for visitors to handle.  Feeling the texture of the whale baleen and the weight or the whale vertebra used as a chopping block were for me wonderful experiences, but to hold a whale harpoon and feel the weight and balance of it was an unforgettable experience (and so enjoyable I travelled back to Hull later in the year to have another go!).