From mermaids to octopi; from fish to turtles: Driggsby, A Whale’s Tale is a spectacular and immersive exhibition telling the poignant story of Driggsby the fin whale as she saves the seas

The major new interactive exhibition is part of an exciting project funded by a grant from The National Lottery Heritage Fund and led by Tullie House Museum and Prism Arts.

sIt tells the story of Driggsby the Fin Whale as imagined by school children from West Cumbria and is brought to life with puppets, props, animations and a soundscape.

Exhibition highlights include;

  • Meet Driggsby and her underwater friends, the mermaid, narwhal and sea turtle
  • Brave the dark tunnel with its stinging plants and scary shadows
  • Journey to the North Pole, but watch out for the fire in the water
  • Be inspired by Driggsby’s story and the children’s drawings and create your own drawings
  • Make your own pledge to Driggsby to reduce your plastic pollution

The exhibition is based on a wonderful illustrated storybook which has been created by Early Years and Key Stage 1 pupils from the west coast, based on their exploration of the life of Driggsby the fin whale, who washed up on Drigg beach and is now on display at the museum. The pupils explored life in our oceans, discovered how Driggsby might have journeyed to Cumbria and learnt why whales have been the inspiration for many myths and legends.

During the 18-month project, the children conducted beach cleans led by Workington Nature Partnership and saw for themselves how much rubbish can be found on our coastline. They left with a greater understanding and appreciation for the environment and are keen to spread the message that, in their own words, “The ocean is not a bin!”

David Renwick, Area Director for the North, The National Lottery Heritage Fund, says:“It is fantastic news that thanks to the National Lottery players, we have been able to support Tullie House to reopen with this imaginative exhibition. At The National Lottery Heritage Fund, we’re incredibly proud to be playing a role in inspiring young minds and in giving people the chance to connect with nature and wildlife.”

Anna Smalley, Head of Collections & Engagement at Tullie House says: “We have been working on the ‘Whale Tales’ project for over two years now, and we are so pleased that the wonderful work of the pupils, teachers, and family members who participated in this special project is finally going to be displayed pride of place in our Art Gallery. This exhibition is a journey of discovery, a celebration of creativity and an exciting exploration of our marine heritage.”

Catherine Coulthard, Creative Strategic Director of Prism Arts: “Our artists really enjoyed working with the children to produce this amazing work. It was fascinating getting the children’s views on such an emotive and important subject, then getting to transform those thoughts and their artwork into pieces for this exhibition. We can’t wait to share their work with the public!”

Driggsby, A Whale’s Tale is scheduled to open on 18 May, in line with the government announced stage three reopening in May and subject to government decisions on coronavirus restrictions.

The exhibition will be supported by a range of activities for schools, teachers and families. It will run throughout the summer to give families a fun and safe place to visit.

To follow the progress of the project, search for #whaletales #driggsby