Angela Cockayne

The Whale as Muse

Moby-Dick Goes Viral


In two years the reached a global audience of four million but last month alone one and a half million additional downloads pushed the stats to 5.5 million which is astounding for an unfunded project which has also raised significant funding for a marine protection charity.
HUGE thanks again to all involved who kindly gave their time for free bringing this incredible book alive to so many,  to those who downloaded the chapters and joined our virtual community, and those who have donated to WDC.  A new Big Read project is now underway details to be announced soon.

The Pulpit, Plaster, bronze, pewter & bone.

C’est ne pas une cachelot

Collapsed roof post bored by woodworm

Frozen and filled with found hedgehog spines.

The depth and direction determined by the absent woodworm.

Moby Dick Big Read reaches a global audience of 4 million this month. The Telegraph lists it as one of the best podcasts with 8,300 visitors still visiting the site each week.

Moby Dick Big Read reaches a global audience of 4 million this month. The Telegraph lists it as one of the best podcasts with 8,300 visitors still visiting the site each week.

The best podcasts for stories, fiction and poetry
The best story and poetry podcasts including short stories, readings of    fiction and real-life dramas, selected and updated by Pete Naughton

Adnan Syed was convicted of the murder of his then girlfriend Hae Min Lee in 1999
By Pete Naughton     5:45PM GMT 14 Jan 2015

Created by the team behind This    American Life, Serial is an innovative, gripping and artfully    constructed weekly podcast that’s been topping iTunes’s charts on both sides    of the Atlantic since its debut in early October. Presented and executive    produced by the journalist Sarah Koenig, it’s a real-time investigation of    some murky inconsistencies in a real-life murder case: namely, that of a    Baltimore high school student Hae Min Lee, who was killed in 1999 and whose    ex-boyfriend, Adnan Syed, is currently serving time for her murder — even    though there are some compelling arguments for his innocence.
The    Moth

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The case of Adnan Syed – the killer made famous by the Serial podcast

Close on twenty years ago, the American poet and novelist George Dawes Green    set up a New York-based storytelling group inspired by the languorous summer    evenings in his home state of Georgia, where people gather on porches,    amongst dozens of fluttering moths, and shoot the breeze. It soon gathered    momentum, spreading to other cities and expanding to include a variety of    live events, a radio show and this fantastic podcast. Each episode features    one or more storytellers recounting an episode from their own life in front    of a live audience; participants range from the famous (Salman Rushdie,    Annie Proulx, Malcolm Gladwell) to the unknown — and they almost never fail    to hold the attention.

Moby Dick Big Read
Herman Melville’s strange, wondrous novel about a captain’s quest for revenge    on a sperm whale is brought rather stylishly into the podcast age by this    series, masterminded by the author Philip Hoare and the artist Angela    Cockayne. Each of the book’s 135 chapters is read by a different person,    among them Tilda Swinton (#1), David Cameron (#30), Benedict Cumberbatch    (#58) and Sir David Attenborough (#105).
The Truth
Billing themselves as the creators of “short films without pictures”,    the producers behind this award–winning series of audio dramas record their    work on location, improvise much of the dialogue and make a point of trying    things that others wouldn’t dream of. Plenty of room for disaster, then –    but by some alchemical magic, they almost always pull it off. To give a few    recent examples, they’ve written a play (Falling) about a man and a woman    who become romantically involved after a near–fatal accident on a train    platform; a dark satire (The Modern Prometheus) about a corporation that    becomes a sentient being; and, in The Death of Poe, a brilliant reimagining    of what Edgar Allan Poe’s final hours might have been like.
Poetry    Foundation
The Poetry Foundation – an American nonprofit dedicated to bolstering the    presence of poetry in modern culture – has a wide variety of engaging audio    content, from roundtable discussions of new poetry to selections of oddly    compelling ‘found sound’ from the UbuWeb archive. Perhaps the easiest sell,    though, is their Poem of the Day strand, which does exactly what it says on    the tin — with daily readings of everything from Thomas Hardy to Seamus    Heaney to Sharon Olds.
The Penguin Podcast
Malcolm Gladwell, John Le Carré, Jennifer Saunders, and dozens of other    notable Penguin authors have recently appeared on this lively podcast strand    by the publishing powerhouse. Episodes are structured around a given theme    rather than just spotlighting the latest releases – and contain enough food    for thought to make their promotional drive (i.e. “buy more Penguin books!”)    palatable.
Welcome to Night Vale   
Every fortnight, for the last 16 months or so, a devoted and exponentially    expanding group of subscribers have been regaled with the news from the    small fictional town of Night Vale, located in a desert somewhere in the    south–western United States. The dispatches, read in gloriously deadpan    fashion by Cecil Baldwin, are by turns surreal, hilarious and darkly    unsettling – and unlike anything else on the internet at the moment.
KCRW’s UnFictional
Santa Monica College’s excellent KCRW station makes a variety of standout    podcasts, from their one–song–a–day download Today’s Top Tune (http://    Today’s Top Tune) to longer spoken–word dispatches.One of my favourites in the    latter category is UnFictional, which gives a platform to independent radio    producers who have a compelling real–life story to tell. Hosted and curated    by KCRW producer Bob Carlson, it’s a veritable smorgasbord of human    interest, with recent highlights including the tale of how one of the most    wanted men in America was living a life of blameless domesticity in LA and a    first–person account of work as a nuclear missile operator.
Easy French Poetry
The title of this podcast may sound suspiciously oxymoronic, but its creator    – an internet–savvy language tutor called Camille Chevalier–Karfis – makes a    noble effort to be good to her word. Each poem is read twice, once slowly,    once at normal speed. Ideal for intermediate French speakers looking to give    their language a bit more va va voom; or for people like me, who can’t speak    French but like hearing Rimbaud and Baudelaire in the original anyway.
The Adventures of    Huckleberry Finn
Beloved of great writers – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, TS Eliot –    and lay readers alike, Mark Twain’s seminal novel is a work that manages to    be both entertaining and profound. As you probably know, it follows a young    boy as he journeys along the Mississippi river on a raft accompanied by an    escaped slave called Jim, and contains some searingly funny portraits of the    antebellum South. This audiobook podcast, sensitively performed by Marc    Devine, is the next best thing to reading it in person.
True Story
Fans of the wonderful ‘The Moth’ storytelling podcast (The Moth)    will almost certainly fall for this slightly more raw and homespun series,    in which ordinary people tell extraordinary stories from their lives in    front of a small audience. Listening in is a marvellously voyeuristic    experience, like eavesdropping at a lively dinner party; and the anecdotes    are by turns gripping, funny, poignant and surreal. Recent highlights    include a kindergarten–teacher–cum–rock–’n’rollband member telling a story    of how he was nearly electrocuted to death by a guitar amp and an elderly    Texan gentleman recounting his barefoot pursuit of a man who’d tried to    burgle his car.
Spark London
A few times a month, Spark London hosts storytelling events around the    capital, where people gather to share short true stories from their own    lives in front of an appreciative audence. This lovely podcast stream    collects individual stories from the events and makes for some stirring,    bracingly varied listening – taking in stories from war-torn Uganda,    election-crazed Paris, drizzly Hackney and beyond.
Snap    Judgement
This long-running American podcast allows regular people who have lived    through challenging, strange or painful experiences to tell their stories –    often with fantastically emotive results. To give a particularly moving    recent example, episode #324 featured the recollections of a 93 year-old    British veteran called Tom Tate, who narrowly avoided death during the    Second World War thanks in part to the kindness of an anonymous German    woman.
Every weekday morning at ten to eight, the BBC World Service broadcasts an    episode of this wonderful series in which people who were present at    defining historical events talk about their experiences. It’s a little sad    to think that the majority of the British listening public – glued as we are    then to the Today programme or Chris Evans – regularly miss it; but    thankfully it’s available as a podcast as well. Recent highlights include    firsthand memories of F Scott Fitzgerald, the exposé of a secret US attack    on Cambodia during the Vietnam War and Sir Stanley Matthews’s careerdefining    performance in the 1953 FA Cup final.
Selected Shorts
This superb podcast series invites talented actors from stage, screen and TV    to read fantasticshort stories by some of the masters of the form – among    them Haruki Murakami, Annie Proulx and Jack Finney. The results, recorded    live at New York’s Peter Sharp Theater, are regularly scintillating with a    wide range of stories covered.
Love + Radio
What is it like to be a professional blackmailer? Or to live through a    stroke? Or to run a strip club out of your own home? This award-winning    podcast by Chicago-based radio director Nick van der Kolk has the intriguing    answers. Each episode focuses on a different story, presented via an artful,    almost dreamlike tapestry of music, recorded interviews and segments    recorded by voice actors. The results blend elements of This American Life    and Radiolab, and are regularly enthralling.

Mike    Detective
Combining the hard-boiled atmosphere of crime serials on American radio in    the Forties and Fifties with the goofball comedy of the Naked Gun films,    this podcast series is sure to please anyone with a love of the PI genre. It    follows the exploits of Mike Detective (voiced by the Amereican actor and    comedian Rob Huebel), an unlicensed, uninsured and expletive-prone private    eye, as he embarks on a variety of strange, ill-fated and often hilarious    cases, further enlivened by cameo appearances from Jon Hamm, Zach    Galifianakis and Henry Winkler. Episodes clock in around the five minute    mark; and I can particularly recommend the eleventh episode, Lucky Number    Seven.
The    Thrilling Adventure Hour
Recorded in front of a live Californian audience, this charming, sharply    written series playfully replicates the style of old time American radio    shows, with recurring drama segments (Sparks Nevada, Marshal on Mars, The    Cross-Time Adventures of Colonel Tick-Tock), musical interludes, and ads for    fictionalised products like Patriot Cigarettes and WorkJuice Coffee.
The    Memory Palace
Made by an award-winning radio producer called Nate DiMeo, this spellbinding    series presents a small, perfectly-formed story in each episode. Topics    range from a miraculous celestial array witnessed by an American astronaut    and the terrifying day in 1848 when Niagara Falls stopped falling to the    social history of the lobster — and, amazingly, they’re all true. Also    available via The Memory Palace.
Poems    That Make Grown Men Cry
Some years ago, the journalist and author Anthony Holden noticed that certain    poems had a mysterious capacity to draw tears from otherwise dry-eyed men.    “There’s an anthology in this,” he thought, and now – with assistance from    Holden’s son Ben and in association with Amnesty International – there is.    This lovely video podcast, recorded at the National Theatre, features poetry    readings by a handful of contributors to the book — including Ian McEwan,    Simon Russell Beale, Ben Okri, and Melvyn Bragg.


narwhal3 72                                                  Narwhal 72


blinkered 72

Hierarchies of Gaze

Growing up I remember trying to leap from my bedroom door to my bed frightened of a crocodile I imagined lurked beneath, once in bed I worried about the imminent Russian invasion and the threat of nuclear war. I was delighted to be born in 1959 a female, so I would not have to go fight in the trenches, tanks or similar. It would seem every generation has it’s own crocodiles that patrol our mortality.

What fearful scenarios invade our children’s imaginations today? Faceless and masked terrorists, Ebola, famines, global warming, environmental catastrophe to name but a few. It has become difficult to form allegiances to support and to address such issues when there are so many; we become ‘war weary’ and tend to bury our heads in the sand.

Fifty years on it is still difficult to address some of these issues. I now imagine a crocodile on my ceiling as an escape from some of the harder realities of life. Is it any more comforting to know that the mortality rate attributed to the common cold or flu  is significantly higher than those who have sadly recently died through Ebola, 500,000 flu deaths a year world wide, perhaps more alarmingly 1.24 million die each year world wide from car accidents.

How do we culturally and ethically address such issues without injecting fear into the veins of the mass population by media hype? Should we stop reading the news or approach such matters obliquely. Personally I try to do the latter confront the evidence or research and repackage it in away that is digestible to my own sensitivities. Through a curious visual language often exploring metaphor and myth.

If the science, or “truth’ gives us fact and evidence to solve questions, art creates curiosity. It asks questions rather than gives answers, creating space for ambiguity, new narratives – and more questions. Importantly art allows a viewer to think for themselves as a conduit the work offers the viewer scope to fill in the missing gaps and engage in a new narrative the work might evoke- thus creating dialogue, new responsibility and new potential ownership of an idea.

It is five hundred years since the Wunderkammer housed a united field of interdisciplinary enquiry, in an age before disciplines became separate under museums of science, nature and art. Fifty years ago CP Snow’s lecture on ‘Two Cultures’ mourned such separation; Edward O Wilson’s recent call echoed the desire for consilience of disciplines through a unity of knowledge.

Perhaps through a reunification, of art, science and nature, exploring a curious even subversive gaze we can confront the sceptical and represent the undeniable evidence of our trajectory through wonderment and engaging visual narratives to reflect upon our actions.

Like the crocodile under my bed these fears and realities may or may not exist but may remain mythical in their effect. We have to confront the issues of the world we inhabit, it is with what gaze we wish to communicate our enquiry, which is of interest to me.

Curiosita- Pewter, Leather, Vegetable Ivory Whale, Teeth, Eye Shell and Claws

With technological advancement of the democratised access of the Internet perhaps we can now facilitate worldviews exploring our natural curiosity through creativity and the rational. Now in the 21st century, we can investigate and explore a global dialogue between art, science, and our environment through collaborative partnership in context of current ethical debate.

Subaltern- Pewter, Pearls Teeth, Horseshoe Crab Carapace

Bournemouth Art Festival

Angela Cockayne & Philip Hoare’s filmed performance prior to talk

Arts By The Sea Festival

Angela Cockayne & Philip Hoare’s filmed performance prior to talk

Artist Angela Cockayne and author Philip Hoare collaborate on a  filmed performance, using artwork, objects, text, and spoken word.  Drawing the overarching symbol and shape of the sperm whale, Dominion  will be a multilayered and allusive attempt to come to terms with a  shared history between human and whale, between human history and  natural history, and the liminal region in between.

Dominion incorporates Cockayne’s chimerical objects, part animal,  part sculpture, with Hoare’s physical interaction with sperm whales.  Using artwork and text thrown up by this new meeting of art and  literature, the result is an aesthetic sermon on the state of the whale  and the world, based on Herman Melville’s 1851 classic Moby-Dick. 2009  Music composed by Nick Atkinson
15 mins played continuously on loop at Bournemouth Natural Science Society
Wednesday 8 October prior to talk from 19.00 £7
Sat 11 and Sun 12 October 10.00 – 16.00

Philip Hoare and Angela Cockayne – The Sea Inside

Talk and Exhibition
Philip Hoare, award-winning author of Leviathan, The Whale and The Sea Inside,  sets out to rediscover the sea and its animals. From Southampton to the  Azores, Sri Lanka, Tasmania and New Zealand, he travels in search of  birds, whales, and the way we humans have interacted with them.  Accompanying Philip for this talk is artist Angela Cockayne.
Cockayne uses found objects to create provocative assemblies of  discarded bottles and gannets’ wings, human hair and antique rifles and  lobster-clawed women. Beautiful and disturbing, they concern the natural  world and the human predicament. Her work will be on display at BNSS  during the Open Weekend
An Arts Bournemouth event.


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