The whale is portrayed as a monster and appears in top ten sea monsters of all time all over the internet. Was he actually a monster or was he simply provoked for years on end? Who is hunting who here? They say that everyone, no matter how placid has a breaking point and my interpretation looks at the story from this angle. Angry seas, boats caught in the monsters jaws saturate any image search - I have kept well away from that and pushed to portray a scene of devastation, of sheer terror, in a beautiful light that is the complete opposite yet ultimately showing the same result.
I have chosen a calm, serene seascape to truly demonstrate the environment where the whale should swim free, not be hunted. Something so huge and powerful doesn’t need to wage war, a simple flick of its’ huge tail and it’s done. There is something much more powerful to see such a huge creature slip beneath the surface like this rather than a backward leap and crashing down, it’s what is underneath, what you can’t see that is ultimately more dangerous, more powerful.
My portrayal of the whale is one of beauty and peace. I have created the tail in a way that actually looks like a dove about to fly away towards the light. There’s no better way to symbolise peace and being set free than this and it fits perfectly with may concept that the whale can finally swim freely now that those that hunted it obsessively lay beneath him. If you look closely you can see subtle feather details, creating a tail within a tail.
My aim is that you see a beautiful scene before you are fixated with what has just happened and the untold destruction that has occurred.
The whale is finally shown in it’s true light. A solitary oar from the Pequods’ hunting boat floats in the water, opposite a single broken piece from the boat, a part of its’ mast as there is a Spanish Doubloon nailed to it, with an oily hand print where one tried to make a final grab for their reward, Captain Ahab is also inscribed on the wood. A torn section of rope just about keeps itself above the surface, torn from the harpoon that proved so futile. In the foreground there is a message in a bottle, written by Ishmael. Written in hope that his tales will be found one day, almost accepting his fate, tragic but beautiful.
Another so called monster heads into view, a shark, again - who’s killing who? In contrast and in keeping with my love for good vs evil, dolphins swim the opposing direction, head on so as to symbolise the battle between good and ‘evil’. Ultimately I have strived to create something that is beautiful and serene, with intensity but yet with remoteness, a positive message that comes from a scene of complete and utter devastation.