North Atlantic Drift is an ongoing series of exhibitions dealing with the relationship of the North Atlantic and its coastal communities set in the Old Low Light Heritage Centre, north east of England. North Atlantic Drift : Pursuing Whales is an installation exploring our relationship with whales, while the North Atlantic Drift theme is underlying the whole exhibition, as works oscillate between or sometimes combine British waters and Arctic waters.
Lost and Found is a series of small cetacean sculptures made out of biodegradable plastic and black sand. The translucent material, encrusted with volcanic sand collected from Icelandic shores, gives a ghostly presence to the sculptures, each slightly different from the next. The black sand is reminiscent of remote volcanic arctic islands British whalers might have seen. Plastic found on the beach is placed alongside the sculptures. While the mention of marine litter stresses the negative aspect of our impact on the sea and its inhabitants, the biodegradable plastic used to make the sculptures suggests a more positive future, a future where using environmentally friendly materials is becoming increasingly viable.
White-Beaked Dolphin Bones is the record of the skeleton of a young individual which was found dead on the beach close to Húsavík, Northern Iceland. The cause of death remains unknown. During the de-fleshing and cleaning process it became apparent that the bones were particularly delicate, and that bones such as the vertebrae were unfused, both typical traits to skeletons belonging to mammals of such young age.
Each bone has been photographed against a black background. They were then dispersed into the 31 drawers of the cabinet of curiosity. This display offers an alternative way to discover the skeleton of a cetacean, a contrast to traditional methods of skeleton display, allowing the viewer to consider sets of bones one at a time, highlighting their unusual shapes and fragility.
Other parts of the exhibition also include video works (Surface and Whale Voice Choir), research on the connections between North East England and whaling history from the London Natural History Museum, and a performance of a whale singing choir at the opening of the exhibition.