Whale Cultures: Philip Hoare and Jessica Sarah Rinland, with John Burton

They are like barnacled angels, these extraordinary creatures...

To mark the paperback publication of Samuel Johnson Prize-winning author Philip 'Leviathan' Hoare’s acclaimed new book The Sea Inside, we held an evening exploring the world of whales.

Philip Hoare opened the evening with with an exploration of whales as a cultural and natural phenomenon, punctuated by mesmerising accounts of his personal experiences with these creatures. His talk was followed by artist film-maker Jessica Sarah Rinland, who presented a screening of three of her films: Pegwell Bay, Kent – Recollection of a Whale; Description Of A Struggle; and A Boiled Skeleton.

The final film depicts the journey of a bottlenose whale caught in 1860 and currently stored in the basement of UCL’s Grant Museum. As it screened, ex-whaler John Burton read live from the newspaper article that covered the whale’s journey.

The evening finished with discussion chaired by Gareth Evans, and questions from the audience.

VIDEO: Philip Hoare reads from his latest book The Sea Inside in the London Review Bookshop

The illustrations used throughout the event are by Joe Lyward.