Sperm Whale sculpture – by Preston Jackson
Location: Queen’s Landing, Grant Park
Temporary Installation: 2013
The sculpture is in memory of Shirley Armstrong.. below is Artist Statement by Preston Jackson
The sculpture is in memory of Shirley Armstrong. Below is Artist Statement by Preston Jackson.
She was always interested in plants, a natural botanist. Her ancestors were from the west coast of Africa, near the Ivory Coast. Just like her numerous plants, she had many children, who came in a rainbow of colors. She was born at the time of the Springfield, Illinois riots, and the many other race riots in this country. She had a deep-seated love for animals, automatically showing her nurturing ways and maternal instincts. What inspired me to create this large female sperm whale was a person named Shirley Armstrong–because of my connection with this resilient woman who is very much in my everyday life, my DNA, my dreams.
Being the largest of the toothed whale species, I admire the sperm whale’s tenacity in defending her calves and herself. The plastic bottles that she has ingested will soon be the reason for her demise. She unknowingly carries this dangerous material, yet she continues to exist in a brave and proud manner, living each day as if it were a celebration. During my research of this magnificent animal and her behavior I found her reminiscent of Shirley Armstrong. They both have a number of characteristics in common—they are strong and sleek objects of beauty, with strong maternal instincts.
This plastic pollution is well known as a silent killer and will someday draw our attention to what we must do as a human species to rid the earth of the pollutants we carelessly manufacture and inject into our food chain. This sculpture is about the preservation of the planet. From plankton to large mammals, it is important how we treat animals and the earth we live on.
“Speak their names and they live again.”
– Preston Jackson
I have a special affinity with this sculpture.
I had driven to Peoria, to see this sculpture made in his Bartonville Studio…
Here are some images from my Peoria visit..
Preston Jackson with the whale sculpture