Artist’s Journal: NUMBER 49

“To control the concrete

one must abstract its essence.” 

Michael P. Holt

British mathematician and the author of Mathematics in Art (1971)

This drawing titled – PRESSURES: New Bedford’s 1871 Whaling Disaster is an attempt to do just that; to convey the natural, financial and historical pressures on New Bedford’s mighty whaling fleet during an ill-fated gamble.  The piece has been scaled to remind the viewer of the Arctic’s vastness and to fit in a public space.

The exhibit is being curated by Lasse Antonsen, Kim Barry and Willoughby Elliott.

Detail - looking right to left
Detail – looking right to left

The scale and proportion of this 76.5” x 88” is important allowing viewers to take in the entire image without moving their head or eyes.  The ill-fated Arctic expedition resulted in the loss of thirty-three of the original forty vessels that journeyed north to hunt whales.

Twenty-two were from the Port of New Bedford.  The marks on the Trojan Onionskin Typing Paper held together with cellophane tape are: graphite, charcoal, dry pastel and colored pencil.

This piece reflects on the whalers’ thought processes, calculations and, the consequences of their decisions.  The drawing acts as an aggregate document of the New Bedford whale ships that were abandoned to be lost wrecked by the ice or, burned by the Inuit people.

Drawing: B-Series – 1- 2013 MEDIUM: Graphite, charcoal, dry pastel and colored pencil and, cellophane tape on Trojan Onionskin Typing Paper. SIZE: 76.5” x 88”
Drawing: B-Series – 1- 2013
MEDIUM: Graphite, charcoal, dry pastel and colored pencil and, cellophane tape on Trojan Onionskin Typing Paper.
SIZE: 76.5” x 88”

The exhibit – New Bedford Harbor in a New Light – honors New Bedford Harbor; its fishing industry, the environment and its past.  The exhibit runs from May 8 to August 8, 2013 at the New Bedford Art Museum.

Posted on: 19/03/2013, by :
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