“That mortal man might feed upon the creature that feeds his lamp, and, like Stubb, eat him by his own light..”
An exhibition of white-themed artworks is illuminated only by a single spermaceti oil candle, lit at the close of the opening night, and at dusk thereafter.
An Arrangement in White
XO, Leeds, 21th February – 13th March 2013.
Chapter 64 of Melville’s Moby Dick details the aftermath of the whale hunt, including the demands from one mate to eat of the carcass before turning in for the night. The cutting, cooking and eating must all be accomplished while lit by hand-lanterns, fuelled by the oil harvested from a sperm whale’s head.