Migaloo Slapping 2013
Oil on Canvas, 137 x 198 cm
This painting sold many years ago.
When I began painting Migaloo he represented the vulnerability of the humpback population to me. Whaling in the southern ocean is still done for "Scientific Research" by the Japanese. This Migaloo-themed series of paintings tells the story of his journey up and down the coast while also highlighting potential threats to his well-being.
My shift to environmental and environmental care topics was significant in this series because, as my concern for Migaloo's well-being grew, so did my concern for our oceans.
Migaloo has become a symbol for all living creatures and the fragility of the environment since 2013.
I paint whales to bring that feeling we get from being around a creature so incredible and ancient into your home. You remember that moment whale watching when you hear the water break and the release of air from the whales blow hole. Your heart pounds with excitement and the feeling of joy washes over you. Then just as you are savouring that exalted feeling the fluke breaks the surface and the whale dives. It’s as though you didn’t breath while the whale was in your sites and then you and all those around you make a noise as all the humans let go of the breath they have been holding, the breath they caught from the whale. That is what I hope you will feel from this painting.
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© Stephanie Fuller