Cast Whale Project.

The Cast Whale Project was initiated 2008 by German based artist Gil Shachar. The vision was to create a sculpture of a large dead beached whale by moulding it and presenting it exactly as it lay on the beach. After some years of research and preparations the project was finally realised in South Africa. In August 2018 the Cast Whale Project team was able to take a mould off a Humpback whale which beached dead in Lambert’s Bay on the West Coast. The Humpback Whale was cast in Salt River, Cape Town, in the course of March and April 2019. The encounter with a stranded whale brings to one’s imagination a parallel world, imprinted upon one’s (sub)consciousness since early childhood through children’s stories, mythology, the great religious traditions, poetry and literature. In all these sources whales invariably represent a tremendous power, a wonder of nature of high intelligence – but one which is also capable of turning into a monster. The whale becomes a projection screen for our imagination, a container of transformation and of rebirth. The scarcer an encounter with a whale becomes, the more it gains in symbolic power. Although our technical ability to observe whales has advanced immensely compared to past centuries, it has become more difficult to do so due to their increasing rareness. The whale represents not only a paradise lost of our childhood, it also embodies the ideal state of the pre-industrial world in which the systematic destruction of nature by man was not yet imaginable. The encounter with a whale might therefore arouse feelings of melancholy and mourning, for we know – this is a world which soon could vanish. Whales, like us, are mammals raised on mother’s milk, and are organized in social structures. Amazingly, the whales were originally terrestrial animals, which over time, went in the opposite direction to the usual evolution – and slowly developed to become aquatic animals. Their often enigmatic stranding can perhaps therefore be understood as an act of homecoming. Follow the projects page @ Cast Whale Project A short preview of the film by Warrick Mc Leod on The Cast Whale Project. Join us for the opening exhibition on Sunday, May 12th, 11 A.M. to 7 p.m.