Lost Voices consists of a number of works responding to old whaling logbooks. They combine research into the early days of whaling, with the classic text by Herman Melville. Melville wrote 'to produce a mighty book you must first choose a mighty subject' - whales certainly fit this criteria! The subject matter is vast, the project ongoing, so this is just a beginning. Having started from a position of acknowledging the decline of whale populations, I have been following many unexpected paths while reading about this subject.
One such path being the social history of the early days of whaling - a time when wooden ships set sail into largely unchartered waters. Conditions were poor and the loss of life great. Seen through the perspective of the day, whaling was a means to provide food and income for many families. I have used first hand accounts to reflect the voice of the day, alongside various pages from contemporary ecology magazines. As paper was an expensive commodity in the 18th century it was not unusual for old books to be re used. I have therefore used 'old magazine' pages to lend a voice about our environmental concerns today.
Lost Voices, Ditty Box. The Captains logbook alongside his wife's journal.
Centre page from Captains Log
Captains log book page. Text from Moby Dick Herman Melville.
Pages from the Captains wife's journal Text from Eliza Williams, One Whaling Family