Arctic Ventures: Forgotten stories of Scottish Whaling
2 September - 7 December 2022
As part of Scotland’s Year of Stories 2022, we unveil a 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. Her work is held in private and institutional collections across the UK and USA.
For The Scottish Fisheries Museum, Caroline has brought aspects of the Scottish Whaling story to life through her textile art, 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 – imaginatively help to fill the ‘story’ gaps in the museum’s collection.