About the project
As part of our long term relationship with South Georgia Heritage Trust, a Dundee-based charity which conserves the wildlife, landscape and cultural heritage of the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia, famed for iconic marine wildlife and links to Sir Ernest Shackleton, we were asked to announce the winner of SGHT’s international competition seeking an artist to tell the story of South Georgia’s remarkable environmental recovery.
Winning artist and sculptor Michael Visocchi’s Commensalis: The Spirit Tables of South Georgia commemorates the loss of 175,000 whales at South Georgia between 1905 and 1965 and celebrates their return to the island’s waters. In the past South Georgia was the epicentre of the southern whaling industry but more recently has become a beacon of hope to the whole world as an ecosystem in recovery – demonstrating that ecological restoration is possible and nature heals when given the chance. As the world’s most remote permanent art installation, the creation of Commensalis presents a unique opportunity to change the narrative on South Georgia from whaling to whales – creating a focal point for everyone who cares about nature and supporting vital research to protect the future of whales in the Southern Ocean.
Using our in-house capabilities, we held a virtual press briefing to unveil the winning artist chosen to create the major international artistic commission on South Georgia and supported this with an explanatory video, as well as b-roll footage and images for media. A package on the BBC One O’clock News set the tone for the significant media coverage, followed by a substantial discussion on Radio 4’s Front Row that evening. We continue to work with the SGHT to promote the artwork along with wider communications on their work on this island which is a beacon of hope as an ecosystem in recovery.
Photography: Adam Proctor, Oliver Prince, Geometria working for the Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI), discoveryinvestigations.ac.uk, Jo Crebbin (Shutterstock)