Tag Archives: whaling

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 […]

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 […]

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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Stoved!

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  Early, non-industrialised whaling was a dangerous activity.  When lookouts on a whaling ship saw a whale, the whaling boats were lowered and quietly rowed towards the whale. These boats were smaller than the whales they were hunting and […]

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Cape Farewell

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  Whalers were as superstitious as any other sailors and had many rituals which they observed.  They also amended rituals for the circumstances they found themselves in. A good example of this is the crossing the line ceremony. This […]

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Sealing

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  As whaling decreased the populations of whales, the whalers hunted other marine mammals to maintain their profitability.  Seal skins were a valuable commodity and to maximise the economic return, whaling ships could leave earlier from British ports, pick […]

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Victualling

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  Whaling ships setting off to the Arctic had to be self-sufficient in all they would need for the long summer whaling season. They took everything from harpoons, spare whaling boats and rope to extra clothing and canvas.  They […]

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Calling At Shetland

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This is one of the pieces in the Verdant Works Exhibition ‘The Arctic Whaling Year’, Autumn 2018.  Many whaleships from English and Scottish mainland ports called into Orkney and Shetland to pick up further supplies and additional crew.  The whaling agent Hay and Co in Lerwick, Shetland recruited local men, who were good sailors and […]

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