The Whale Hearts
Our team has made five of these 1:1 scale, fibreglass Blue Whale hearts.
The first two were for the Museum of New Zealand, Te Papa Tongarewa. We worked with Anton van Helden - Te Papa's marine mammal collection manager to model them.
The third heart was created for Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL Museum) in Muenster, Germany and the Ubersee Museum in Germany, with authorisation from Te Papa.
The model is life sized; at the time of the build there were no known pathological samples of Blue Whale hearts.
For dimensions, our team used very old written accounts from early whalers to New Zealand. Photographs of a Minke Whale hearts were used for visual reference.
A little bit of creative adjustment was used for health and safety and functionality reasons; for instance, the tunnels needed to allow for all children to be able to fit through the tunnels.
The model was hand sculpted from polystyrene foam, then fibreglassed, sanded and painted. The model is able to withstand interaction from children and adults alike.
The interactive includes a video screen, back-lit information panels and audio systems to complete the experience and help to understand the immense size of a Blue Whale.
Our latest whale heart is headed for the New Bedford Whaling Museum in Massachusetts state, USA.