Tag Archives: whales

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 […]

Melville’s 200th Birthday at Burton Constable

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  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)

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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

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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

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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

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This is one of the pieces in 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 […]

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Commission for Whalebone pub

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My artist statement currently states that “I make work inspired by Moby Dick and British Arctic Whaling, inspired by my travel and research. I am aware that this is quite a niche practice, but I carry on regardless, and for once this approach has paid off! The White Hart in Downham Market, Norfolk has been […]

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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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Melville at Kings 2017

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At the end of June the Eleventh International Melville Conference took place at King’s College in London.  I was fortunate enough to be invited to talk about my work at the British Library as part of this event. A range of artists including writer Philip Hoare, film maker David Shaerf, curator Michael Hall and actor/director […]

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