Tag Archives: whales

Arctic Ventures: forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling


The Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife, is a delightful labyrinth of a place, located in a range of harbourfront buildings. Spending a long ‘Meet the Artist’ Weekend after the opening of my exhibition Arctic Ventures: forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling the most common comment from visitors arriving at the Whaling Gallery where the exhibition […]

ReCover, Commemorative Harpoon Cover


I don’t drink, so I can’t blame this project on a drunk DM, just a moment of madness! Hi, I hope all is as good as can be expected with you at the moment.  I have a possibly daft question for you.  What would your reaction be to a suggestion that I want to make […]

The Utility of Whales


It feels a little strange writing this. In my work plan for Scoresby’s Arctic (long before the exhibition even had that title) high on my to do list for just before the exhibition was due to open in May 2020 was the task of writing a blog about the one large textile panel that I […]

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Whaler Cloak


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 […]

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Spitsbergen 2019


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 […]

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Melville’s 200th Birthday at Burton Constable


  August 1st 2019 was Herman Melville’s 200th birthday. I celebrated it at Burton Constable Hall, near Hull which was probably one of the most ‘Moby-Dick’ places in the UK at that time. Not only is there a sperm whale skeleton mentioned in Moby-Dick there, but there was also my exhibition of British influences in […]

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The Leviathanic Museum (Hull)


In Chapter 102 of Moby-Dick Ishmael discusses the size of sperm whales and he uses one fictional and one real example (the sperm whale skeleton at Burton Constable) for his measurements. He also explains that ‘there are skeleton authorities you can refer to’ in order to test his accuracy. There is a Leviathanic Museum, they […]

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Sir Thomas Browne


Sir Thomas Browne (1605-1682) was a Norfolk-based doctor, polymath and author. Herman Melville owned several of Browne’s books and admired his work and his whimsical writing style, which influenced Melville’s own style. Browne wrote about sperm whales in his myth busting book Pseudodoxia Epidemica, Book of Vulgar Errors, (1646) having seen a sperm whale stranded […]

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Pulling the British Threads in Moby-Dick


Prints, artists books and textile work inspired by the British sources Melville used in Moby-Dick When the curator at Burton Constable suggested I return to the Carriage House Gallery with an exhibition to celebrate Herman Melville’s 200th Birthday I knew I had to do something that would appeal to non-readers of Moby-Dick, but would be […]

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Right Whales Historically Regarded


This is one of the pieces made for the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  The Arctic whalers main target were the right whales, Eubalaena glacialis.  These were the ‘right’ whales to hunt because they had thick oil-rich blubber and had long baleen.  The long baleen plates sieved out small shrimp  and other food […]

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