This September, for Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, we will unveil a sparkling new version of our Scottish Whaling Gallery, enriched with a bespoke installation of exquisite textile art, inviting visitors to make a deeper and more imaginative connection with the subject matter.
There is no doubt that reflecting on whaling is problematic. It was brutal and exploitative and few would welcome its return but the industry responded to a need for resources in 18th century Scotland and a vibrant culture was generated around it. The main narrative of the exhibition will align Anstruther and the museum’s building itself with the background of the wider story of Scottish Whaling. A secret layer of this historic location will be revealed, drawing out untold stories of the Northern Whale Fisheries from smaller Scottish ports including Anstruther’s own C18th Whaling company.
The main new content to feature as part of the permanent display is the work of renowned whaling artist, printmaker and handmade book-maker, Caroline Hack. Caroline’s interest in the history of British Arctic whaling has taken her around the world, visiting whaling related sites, museums and collections to gather source material. For The Scottish Fisheries Museum, Caroline will help to bring aspects of the Scottish Whaling story to life through her textile art and handmade books, echoing the crafts and logs undertaken on long whaling voyages in the past. A mix of large and small pieces – for example, wall hangings of maps and precious things in the display cabinets – will imaginatively help to fill the ‘story’ gaps in the museum’s collection.
Related events programme-
There will be an opportunity to meet the artist and ask about her work over the weekend of Friday 2nd to Sunday 4th September. On September 10th folk musicians Pete Shepheard and Arthur Watson will give an afternoon performance of traditional whaling songs at the museum. Further information about these events and how to book will be available on this website and Facebook etc. @scotfishmuseum nearer the time.
The museum will also take their whale-inspired stories and activities on community outreach visits to Dreel Babies and Dreel Friends later in the autumn.