I wanted to create a visceral artwork that explores the impacts of whaling and how we, as consumers, are part of the never-ending problem. I want my Body of Work to speak to its audience from the position of an art activist to stand against whaling.
These magnificent creatures would have removed two million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. If the whale population dwindled to zero, that would result in boatloads more carbon remaining in the atmosphere, hastening global warming.
My Body of Work has been influenced by a range of artists, including Gaun Wei, Hokusai, Paul Murry, Barbra Kruger, Julian Schnabel, Ken and Julia Yonetani, Ricky Swallow, Bill Viola, Sonia Pedrazzin and Greyson Perry. These activists are also educating their audiences on a range of global issues.
I decided to slip cast dinner plates and include them in my work to reference the consumption of whaling products. Whether that be eating, wearing or smelling - we as consumers are part of the problem.
The silhouette of the female figure versus the white positive space of the whale on one plate reiterates positive/negative action.
The use of gold, in part, is ironic as it is both precious and also marks the rich line of intervention and power of destruction.
The head cast references the consumerist nature of humans and how we are just as responsible for the slaughter of these animals, just as much as companies who use whale bones, oil and cartilage.
I decided to cast my mother as this connects to the idea of mother nature and how she is metaphorically wailing and crying out for us to stop the butchering of her children.
The shell included in the work represents how we should listen to mother nature’s cries, stop destroying, and instead protect and nurture her, just as she has done for us for millions of years.
Whales belong on this planet just as much as you and I. So why do we feel the need to destroy their lives, their habitats and their homes?