Sunwards Wintersleep, 2016

A chapter in Moby Dick mentions that sperm whales turn their heads towards the sun when they die (chapter 116: "For that strange spectacle observable in all Sperm Whales dying - the turning sunwards of the head, and so expiring..."). In this work the top image is based on a photo of sperm whales that stranded alive on Texel in early 2016, all with their heads towards the sun. They're painted with oil (spermaceti) from the head of a sperm whale that stranded near Ameland in 1994. The butterflies were found in a WWII bunker during wintertime, fast asleep.




Sunwards Wintersleep | spermaceti and watercolour on paper, wood, lamp | 188 x 93 x 36 cm.




Sunwards Wintersleep | detail




Sunwards Wintersleep | detail