Sam Hunt's poem The Harpooner's Song inspired artist Dick Frizzell's new limited-edition print, One for the Whales.
The print will be launched tomorrow at The Diversion Gallery, Picton, as the first in a mixed-artist, 10-print portfolio to raise money for the National Whale Centre. Other artists who have agreed to submit works are Robin White, John Walsh, John Pule, Greg O'Brien from New Zealand, and Australian artist Fiona Hall.
None will be taking money from the print sales but each will receive a copy of their own and other artists' contributions in the series, says whale centre project director Luit Bieringa. He described the art series as a chance for art enthusiasts to buy a portfolio of works by prominent artists and support a worthy case at the same time.
The whale centre planned for Picton will tell the story of New Zealand's whaling history in the Marlborough Sounds and promote the conservation of whales and dolphins through information, research and exhibitions.
Hunt's poem in Frizzell's print gives reference to Picton in the same breath as Nantucket, a famous whaling station in America.
Mr Bieringa said artists in New Zealand have long championed environmental causes and Christchurch sculptor Graham Bennett launched the whale centre trust's fundraising by donating proceeds from his Difficult to Swallow exhibition, shown in Picton earlier this year. It was based on Japanese whale meat tins and each signed, limited-edition work represented a whale killed during the 2011-12 Southern Ocean harvest.
Tomorrow's 6pm opening at The Diversion Gallery is sponsored by Whale Pale Ale from the Mussel Inn, Golden Bay, and Frizzell Wines, the latter which has a label linked to the One for the Whales print.
- The Marlborough Express