Shift

Shift

This work was made for the 2022 exhibition Arctic Ventures: forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife. Early whaling was mostly in the Greenland Fisheries, an area around Spitsbergen. Overhunting led to population decline and new whale populations in Baffin Bay and beyond were exploited until those were also depleted. Approx 25 x 20 …

Bounty

Bounty

This work was made for the 2022 exhibition Arctic Ventures: forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife. Arctic Whaling was supported and encouraged by a government subsidy known as a bounty. In return for fulfilling a number of requirements the basic cost of a voyage would be covered. The amount of bounty changed over …

Success to the Rising Sun of Anstruther

Success to the Rising Sun of Anstruther

This work was made for the 2022 exhibition Arctic Ventures: forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling at the Scottish Fisheries Museum in Anstruther, Fife. Early Scottish Arctic Whaling took place around Spitsbergen, an island between Norway and The North Pole. As there was a mistaken belief that Spitsbergen was linked to Greenland this was known as the Greenland Fishery whalemen referred …

Baffin Bay

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 was, was ‘It’s much bigger …

Sampling and making the Utility For Food Panel

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 was making specially for the …

Engraving of Horn Sound from Scoresby's An Account of the Arctic Regions

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 stops in Norway on the …

Beset

Beset

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 harsh cold and darkness, isolated …

The Whaling Grounds

The Whaling Grounds

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 connected to, and part of, …