Artist: Marina Rees
Title: Whale Bone Stamps
My project on whales started in 2013 in Húsavík, north Iceland, and culminated to an exhibition at the Húsavík Whale Museum in 2016. Research was done with the museum's collection, and through my own interaction with nature. I combed the shores in search of marine mammal bones, cleaned the skeletons of stranded cetaceans, and also researched on whale watching boats, investigating the experience of being at sea and encountering live whales.
A series of carved bones and prints entitled Whale Bone Stamps were produced for the show, amongst other works. Fragments of whale bones found on the beach were used to create stamps of various species seen in the local bay, those stamps became tools to represent their living cousins.
Through my interactions with local scientists, I have learnt that some species now being seen in the bay (such as the humpback whale and the blue whale) have only just come to this higher latitude regularly within the last ten years, possibly due to warming seas. In light of this information, one cannot but wonder about the future of this fast changing environment, which species will fail to adapt and which will succeed. It seems these places need to be, more than ever, recorded and studied before they become unrecognisable.
1- Orca print and stamp carved out of whale bone
2- Blue whale print and stamp carved out of whale bone
3- Humpback whale observed in the bay of Húsavík
4- Humpback whale print and stamp carved out of whale bone
5- Seascape, Húsavík
6- Pilot whale print and stamp carved out of whale bone