Please note that this event will be hosted on Zoom* The zoom link can be found in your booking confirmation email.All are welcome to attend a panel discussion on The Wexford Blue Whale: Chanies Across the Sea project. The Wexford Blue Whale: Chanies Across the Sea is presented as part of Brightening Air | Coiscéim Coiligh, a 10-day nationwide season of arts experiences brought to you by the Arts Council. Supported by Wexford County Council. The mosaic whale recalls the 25-metre blue whale named “Hope” beached in Wexford 1891 and subsequently sold to the Natural History Museum in London where it now hangs in the entrance hall. The materials used in the making of the mosaics are shards of Staffordshire pottery, ’chanies’, from Stoke that have, for more than a century, washed ashore on Rosslare harbour from shipwrecks, including a ship bound for Savannah Georgia USA in 1857. The mosaic represents hope in our ability to stay connected and sustain community collaboration on a local and international level. The chanies within the whale mosaic come mainly from the collection of Ann Borg and the four buoy mosaics preserve the history and the journeys that connect Wexford with the UK and Savannah, home to generations of Wexford’s emigrants. Panel participants include Helen McLean, Richard Sabin, Principal Curator, Mammals, Natural History Museum London, Howard Keeley, Director, Irish Research & Training, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, Anne Kinnaird, Co-Director and Lead Artist, Festival Stoke and more guests to be confirmed.Richard SabinRichard Sabin is Principal Curator of Mammals in the Department of Life Sciences at the Natural History Museum, London, where he has worked since 1992. With his work primarily focussed on the study of marine mammals using the Natural History Museum’s world-class research collections, Richard collaborates with colleagues from around the world to generate new scientific data from old Museum specimens. Richard was the scientific lead for the public redisplay of ‘Hope’, the Wexford blue whale, relaunched to the world in 2017. As well as spending time in the Pacific to study blue whale feeding behaviour and translating his observations into the dramatic lunge-feeding pose Hope’s skeleton now displays, he has also spent the past decade using Hope’s bones and baleen to learn more about her life, reproductive health, migrations and ultimately her death in 1891. Richard is committed to public engagement and works extensively with the media, regularly giving interviews and making television and radio programmes with the BBC, Channel 4 and Channel 5. He is currently using Museum specimens to explore genetic diversity of the blue whale, historical contaminants and stress levels in baleen whales using wax earplugs and sperm whale population structure using teeth. He supports wildlife conservation, UK and international wildlife law enforcement through his endangered species identification work and is NHM advisor to the UK Cetacean Strandings Investigation Programme.*This event is hosted on Zoom. Bookers will require a computer, tablet or phone with video and audio connections. Please visit https://zoom.us for more information.
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