Thursday, 4 April 2013


 Grytviken - Wikipedia 'the station closed in December 1966, by which time the whale stocks were so low that their continued exploitation was unviable. Even now, the shore around Grytviken is littered with whale bones and the rusting remains of whale oil processing plants and abandoned whaling ships.'

I have been working on a sculpture about whaling. Exploring the contradictory emotions associated with the nostalgia for the age of sail and of distant beautiful lands and of course the brutal horror of an industry that nearly drove these most emotive and extraordinary creatures from the face of the earth. I have always been fascinated by scrimshaw and the sperm whale teeth I have seen in museums engraved with pictures of ships and locations, etched be seamen working on the whaling ships out of Nantucket and Whitby. Having recently been kindly given some sperm whale teeth by a friend I have cast porcelain copies into which I have then drawn scrimshaw images of the abandoned whaling ships and buildings in the derelict Grytviken whaling yards on South Georgia. The imagined wooden ship, coated in copper and oxidised, suggestive of the earlier years of the industry, a ghost ship, a relic of an industry now itself the victim of extinction. ( *Apart from the Japanese 'scientific'  fleet of course !)

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