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Bob Welch briefly mentions the Exploding Whale in a column about artwork derived from the shipwreck of the New Carissa, which just so happens to be another thing that washed up on an Oregon beach and was subsequently detonated by officials.

Artist’s work puts shipwreck in perspective

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

The Register-Guard

COOS BAY — As I watch the winter surf pound the remains of the New Carissa, the irony abounds: In 1999, after the 639-foot ship grounded itself on the North Spit, the whole world seemed attuned to the wreck.

Now, quite possibly, I’m the only human being on Planet Earth looking at it. Ah, but as the five-year anniversary of the shipwreck nears (Feb. 4), I’d earlier seen something that suggests the New Carissa is permanently embedded in our lore, if not quite with the whimsy of Florence’s exploding whale, then with the staying power of a bullhead.

Artist Karin Richardson, a North Bend artist who’s studied at the Pilchuck Glass School north of Seattle, calls it “The Remains to be Seen.” It’s at the Coos Art Museum. And it’s an intriguing exhibit of “installation art” culled nearly entirely from the scrap-iron remains of Oregon’s infamous “Thing That Wouldn’t Leave.”


© 2004 Register-Guard