Tag Archives: whaling

Scoresby’s Arctic. It’s all about the whale!

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My co-curator Fiona turned to me and said, ‘This isn’t an exhibition about Moby-Dick you know’.  I had bought a copy of the book for possible display in the exhibition, one of my 50 odd versions, the one that laid open flat best.  ‘But it is for me’, I replied. ‘I found William Scoresby through […]

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 […]

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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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The Arctic Whaling Year

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I’m just back from an amazing trip to Dundee for the installation and opening of my exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’ at the Verdant Works.  The exhibition has been over a year in the making, but much, much longer in gestation.   As I have been researching British Arctic Whaling I have pondered the idea of […]

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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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Jute

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  Blubber from the whales was chopped up and placed in barrels on the ship and brought back to the home post to be processed.  The processing involved boiling the blubber to separate the valuable oil, which was stored […]

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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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