Sonia Levy

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Hvalreki is an installation piece, which explores and interrogates human relationships to whales through their residual bones. The work is the outcome of a residency in Northern Iceland and collaboration with whale researcher Dr. Marianne H. Rasmussen at the Húsavík Research Centre on Cetaceans and the Húsavík Whale Museum.

 

The installation consists of a series of porcelain works made from the moulding and casting of actual skeletal remains of a fin whale that stranded on a beach in North  Iceland,  together with whale songs recorded in Icelandic waters by Dr Rasmussen. The  whale 'chants' are played from within the hollowed porcelain, out into the exhibition space. It also includes fragments of real whale bones that I have charred in order to create a pigment for a series of works on paper (see Bone Black project in the drop-down menu for more infos).

 

In Icelandic Hvalreki translates to “drifted-ashore whale”, and has become an expression for good fortune, like a windfall; something unexpected and positive coming your way.

 

This project is part of an ongoing art research I've initiated in 2013 looking at different aspects of humans and whales relationships in the controversial territory of the Arctic. For more informations you can visit my blog: http://theseaaround.tumblr.com/

 

The images present some of the processes as well as a selection of the finished pieces.

 

Extract of the song of the Icelandic Humpback Whale