Cape Farewell

Cape Farewell

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 is traditionally an initiation for …

Sealing

Sealing

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 up men from places like …

Victualling

Victualling

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 also had to take a  …

Calling At Shetland

Calling At Shetland

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 cheap to employ, to act …

Whaling Grounds Whalebone textile commission

Commission for Whalebone pub

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 returned to its original name …

Pre Marathon Dinner at the New Bedford Whaling Museum 22nd Moby Dick Marathon

The 22nd Moby Dick Marathon at New Bedford Whaling Museum

The Moby Dick Marathon at New Bedford Whaling Museum in New Bedford, Massachusetts is a (near) continuous read of the novel over 24 hours Saturday to Sunday of the first weekend of the year by a range of Melville enthusiasts, and is in it’s 22nd year.  For the last couple of years I have followed the event via social media …

Shetland South Atlantic Whaler Memorial Plaque

Shetland and its Whaling Heritage

My practice, built around British Whaling and Moby Dick is rather niche. Generally I have to explain the whys and wherefore of the British whaling trade to people when I discuss my work.  It’s been very different during my month in Shetland. The most common response to my describing my work to the locals has been ‘oh yes, my grandfather …

Caroline Hack, 2nd left, on the panel at Looking for Melville at the British Library

Melville at Kings 2017

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 Shelley Piasecka talked about and …

Cetology - 12 handmade books based on Herman Melville's whale classification from Moby Dick

Cetology (II)

Cetology – A series of handmade books based on Melville’s classification of whales in Moby Dick I’m unaware of any artist who has tried to tackle Melville’s bookish classification system for whales in this way.  Having finally managed to complete them I’m pretty sure why! As a printmaker and maker of artists’ books I was drawn to Chapter 32 Cetology …