Girl with a Dolphin
Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean – John Muir
Situated on the north bank of the Thames near Tower Bridge, ‘Girl with a Dolphin’ was created by artist David Wynne in 1973.
I don’t recall when I saw the Girl with a Dolphin statue for the first time. I do, however, remember when it became a focal point in my photographic world.
In 2009, the movie “The Cove” smashed into our consciousness. This award-winning documentary highlighted the brutal hunting of cetaceans in a small cove in Japan. Every year a quota to capture and kill cetaceans is issued to the Japanese fishermen in the town of Taiji. It’s a horrendous drive-hunt that can last for several hours as the dolphin pods fight to escape. The movie is difficult to watch, and it awoke in me a long-forgotten love of dolphins.
From the balcony of a family holiday home was the I remember seeing my first school of dolphins. In Umdloti, KwaZulu Natal, we’d seek refuge from the world with small family holidays along the evergreen coast. It was a wonderfully natural place back then.
It was also the first place where I saw dolphins wave-surfing, several dark shapes hurtling forward on the incoming swell. As the wave crested and started to break, they’d turn and leap out the back of the wave. I’d never tire of watching them play.
David Wynn’s statue is a picture of movement. It’s elegantly created to show a diving girl playing with an inquisitive dolphin, their meeting frozen perfectly in time. You can easily imagine them below the waves in the warm sea of some faraway place.
I’ve photographed the statue many times and have included it in one of the Street and Urban photography workshops which I offer. It makes a great foreground piece for Tower Bridge, no matter what time of the day.
Stopping the Taiji slaughter
I’ve written several blogs about Taiji and walked many miles with placards, protesting and demonstrating at the Japanese Embassy. I’ve even written a novella (IGAZI) about the subject, and regularly donate fifty per cent of those revenues to an anti-dolphin hunt project. Only a total ban on dolphin hunting will do. We will not stop demonstrating against this meaningless slaughter. If you want to get involved, PLEASE READ HERE
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