Cetus, Belly Of The Whale

Creative documentation behind the creation of Cetus in collaboration with Andrew Whittle.

Plastic, magic, the Atlantic, weaving worlds, apples and changing states.

Experimental moving image, sculptural and photography works documenting the creation of Cetus, an eight meter long sculpture of a Humpback Whale. 

Walking The Whale, Trevone, Cornwall
35mm film

The 31st of October is the beginning of Samhain and the start of winter, when the veil between the worlds is at its thinnest.

On this date in 2020 artists Grace Emily Manning and Andrew Whittle traveled to Padstow in Cornwall to visit Beach Guardian and begin the weaving and enchantment of Cetus. Meeting groups of young people from Wadebridge School and members of the Beach Guardian community of volunteers. 

The creation of Cetus untangles the problem of plastic pollution along the ancient British coastline of North Cornwall. Through the making workshops we explore how landscape and people can become interwoven through the magic of Art.

When exploring the landscape of Trevone for the first time we discovered a blow hole. An ancient sea cave that had blown its top sitting in the middle of a field by the cliffs. Standing at the rim of a blowhole of immeasurable width, staring into the deep cavern and the sea below, we felt a connection with the blowhole of a Whale. A giant Whale at rest along the costal path.  

As we wove the Whale back at Trevisker Garden Centre, the constellation of Cetus, the sea monster, rose above us each night. 

We found Cetus both on land and written in the stars.

Samhain Samhain,

Let the ritual begin.

We call our sacred sea ancestors to come in.

Samhain Samhain,

The tide is high the veils thin.

We honour all that has gone before as we pull the plastic in.

Samhain, Samhain,

All nature is our kin.

Our hearts reach cross the sea of time as the Great Wheel turns again.

Cetus, The Belly Of The Whale, 2020

The Belly of The Whale, 2021
An experiment in Cornish Bladderwrack Bioplastic