In January 2017 a Cuvier's beaked whale was found stranded on the island of Sotra, west of Bergan. This species of whale is usually found in tropical to subtropical waters, not the cold seas of the Atlantic. In very poor health, it was clear the whale would not survive. Following an autopsy examination, scientists were shocked to discover the contents of the whales stomach. It was full of plastic sheets.
The University Museum of Bergan have created a thought provoking display with the remains. The exhibition highlights the shocking amount of plastics in our oceans. Walking into the display, I was impressed by the simplicity of the show and how the curators have been able to graphically covey these concerns. A darkened room creates a subdued atmosphere., The life size image of the whale is projected along one wall, while in the centre, completely dominating the room, a spotlight illuminates the plastic sheets found inside the whale.
They hang centre stage above a projected image of the whales stomach. The effect is startling.
The incident captured the public attention, and as a result groups of volunteers joined together to clean areas of the coast where waste is constantly being washed ashore. it may seem a small gesture considering the vastness of the issue but all credit to them for setting an example. From small beginnings...
For more information visit www.overhaus.no/project/the-plastic-whale/
I am also part of Bookscapes Collective.
Bookscapes is a group of six artists that have developed a group practice specialising in site specific interventions and exhibitions.