Tag Archives: Greenland Fisheries

Whaler Cloak

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I belong to the Artist’s Programme run by the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich. The group, run by the wonderful education department, encourages artists through a programme of workshops and regular meetings to consider issues around a range of practice related topics. Although I love the built environment of the displays there are […]

Spitsbergen 2019

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The waters around Spitsbergen are where British Arctic Whaling began. I first visited Spitsbergen (one of the islands in the Svalbard Archipelago north of Norway  in 2012 and despite a busy summer schedule I managed to visit again in the summer of 2019. I sailed from Dover, up the North Sea with a couple of […]

Beset

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  One of the great perils of Arctic whaling was getting trapped in the ice and either having the ship destroyed by being crushed by the ice, or being trapped in the ice and having to overwinter in the […]

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The Whaling Grounds

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  British Arctic Whaling started around the 1600s after sailors sailing up into the Arctic north of Norway for walrus discovered large numbers of whales in the bays around Spitsbergen.  At the time it was thought that Spitsbergen was […]

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Arctic whaling and the Shetlanders

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There are many places nearer to my home in Norfolk than Shetland that have material about Britain’s Arctic Whaling Heritage so why spend a month Shetland researching it?  Well, I got to be artist in residence at Bressay Lighthouse for the whole month of July with a huge studio space to start to develop work […]

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Must be the Weather (III)

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In recent years I have been fortunate to see and photograph some of the old Arctic whaler log books held in Hull History Centre and Hull Maritime Museum. I have then used my photos to transcribe the entries.  I’ve been fascinated as the individual voyages unfold, reading of the frustrations of the captain not catching whales when other ships […]

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Must be the Weather (I)

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One of the defining things about being British is our obsession about the weather.  It is a safe topic of conversation and a source of constant interest. But our climate is also generally benign so it’s rarely more than an inconvenience (more of that in another post…)  For the last few years an important component […]

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Arctic Initiation – British Whalers’ traditions

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This is a small piece inspired by a particular aspect of arctic whaling that has interested me for a while now. British Arctic Whalers had various superstitions and traditions and the ones that interest me at the moment are those that relate to their material culture – special things that they made. In December I […]

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The Greenland Fisheries

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  I’ve used some related imagery I’ve been working on for a while to loosely illustrate this traditional song about a whaling voyage in book form. I used a combination of digital printing on fabric and fabric paint for the lyric pages.  The images were made using transfer dyes, layering burnt sheer fabrics and freehand machine embroidery.  […]

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Greenland Fisheries Series

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A chance conversation and a trip to the whaling gallery at Hull turned my thoughts to whaling songs.  A feature of the gallery at Hull is the songs that play when you enter the gallery and I finally got around to buying a cd of the songs. The one that initially appealed and inspired me […]

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