Mystic, CT, (January 16, 2023) – Mystic Seaport Museum is pleased to present Fish & Forrest: Through the Lens of a Commercial Fishermom, an exhibition of photography by third generation fisherwoman Corey Wheeler Forrest. Fish & Forrest will be on view inside the Museum’s historic Meeting House from February 4, 2023 and will be on display through the summer. The exhibition will be accompanied by associated talks, panel discussions, film screenings, and launch party events around southeastern New England.
Hailing from a long line of commercial fisherpersons in Sakonnet Point, Rhode Island, Corey’s family today runs the last trap fishing operation in southern New England. The family business spans generations, including everyone from Corey’s 71-year-old father to her own young daughter. The family is the subject of the mini documentary The Last Trap Family: A Rhode Island Family Keeps Sustainable Fishing Alive, which is available online and will be screened accompanying the exhibition. The opening of the documentary neatly emphasizes the family’s significance:
“In the 1800s there were 200 traps that lined the shore.
We are the last family that fishes this way.”
Fish & Forrest presents over 30 photographs selected from Corey’s Instagram account @fishandforrest. Here, she documents her life as a commercial fisherwoman preserving sustainable traditions in a male-dominated profession.
Corey’s lead boat runs on only ten gallons of gas a day, and because fish remain alive in the traps, any fish that will not be used are released. Rising expenses make this sustainable method of fishing increasingly difficult, yet Corey and her family remain ever hopeful for another year. Her photographs are evocative of this dedication and of what she refers to as a quintessential fishing town Corey’s images capture her 4 a.m. wake-up calls, her brother in his fishing gear, and the bow of her boat on foggy summer mornings to provide a window into the slice of life that she hopes to preserve. Fish & Forrest will be the artist’s first photography exhibition and will feature 30 works spanning the last 5 years.
Fish & Forrest is supported by Filson and Xtratuf.