AboutThe Parfitt Gallery is pleased to present Call me Ishmael: an exhibition inspired by Herman Melville's Moby Dick, the first âGreat American Novel' published in 1851. This major group show consists of a number of responses to Melville's epic novel and to the book's most famous adaptation, John Huston's Moby Dick (1956). Stephen Grimes was Assistant Art Director for the classic film and a collection of his working storyboards form the foundation for this exhibition, together with unique photographs taken on set. His storyboards map out a vision that brings the literary masterpiece to life for the big screen, creating a visual experience from the written word. Exhibiting work in this exhibition are: Stephen Grimes, Guy Ben-Ner, Angela Cockayne, Philip Hoare, Clara Drummond, Steph Goodger, Oona Grimes, Tony Grisoni, Mark Hampson, Linder, Jonny Hannah, Vanessa Hodgkinson, Serena Korda, Flora Parrott, Steven Scott and Louie Psihoyos.
Works include: Steph Goodger's Terraqueous 2009, a 4-metre multi-panel painting of the first measurable skeleton of a sperm whale that was washed up on Tunstall Beach, Yorkshire in 1825. Melville took great inspiration from accounts of the Tunstall whale from Thomas Beale's book The Natural History of the Sperm Whale and it is believed to contain the closest evidence of the lost manuscript for Moby Dick. Guy Ben-Ner's Moby Dick 2000 sees the artist transform his kitchen into a make believe film-set, creating a playground for the re-enactment of the classic tale by him and his daughter. Angela Cockayne and Philip Hoare's Dominion 2009 creates a dreamlike encounter with the whale by incorporating Cockayne's chimerical objects, part animal and part sculpture with the written words of Hoare; relating to Moby Dick and also his award winning book Leviathan or the Whale 2008.
A number of new pieces have been made specifically for this show including Oona Grimes and Tony Grisoni's Postcards from the Pequod; a multi media installation set on the deck of the Pequod where Polanski introduces Poe to Pinocchio. Steven Scott's new film piece traces a distant horizon whilst playing with representations of space through the subjective nature of perception. Flora Parrott attempts to capture an essence in a new sculpture work of the shoulder section of the sperm whale, highlighting her continued interest in compression and the human compulsion to capture and contain, and Mark Hampson has traced four stories relating to the naming of the Moby Dick Roundabout, a black spot on the A13, by incorporating folklore, local accounts and myth making.