Margot Cormier Splane Visual Artist

1. Logo-2022_Blue

Internationally Award Winning Artist

Damn the Torpedoes, Full Speed Ahead


Hand Pulled Serigraph ~ 16 stencils

2002 ~ 12 x 21″ ~ 29 x 52 cm

Edition 55   Artist Proofs 5

This whale art shows a group of humpback whales with submarines confronting each other in background. ‘Damn the torpedoes full speed ahead’.

The original inspiration for this piece was the following story. There was a submarine captain during World War II, engaged in a battle with another submarine. Suddenly one of the officers shouted, “Incoming torpedoes! Shall I take evasive maneuvers?” The captain making a split second calculation and said, “Damn the Torpedoes Full Speed Ahead, We’ll ram it.” When the torpedo’s hit, because the captain had driven at full speed towards the enemy, the distance was too small to have allowed the warheads to activate, and the torpedoes bounced off harmlessly. Seconds later the sub, which had been under fire, rammed through the hull of its enemy, there by winning the day.


As it turns out after further research, the quote was actually from Rear Admiral David Farragut in regard to the battle at Mobile Bay during the American Civil War. Fighting for the Union side, he watched the lead ship in his flotilla explode after hitting a torpedo mine. Racing to the lead with his own flag ship the Hartford, Farragut cried, “Damn the torpedoes, full sail ahead!”  Following his lead the vast majority of his fleet sailed safely through the dangerous torpedo mined area, and went on to win one of the crucial battles of the American Civil War, and by doing this cut off a vital supply route to the Confederate side.  Apparently my original inspiration must have come from a fictionalized book, or possibly (even more embarrassing), a movie. Opps!


In this serigraph, I have depicted a humpback whale drawing its calf away from the submarines, everything about this group is gentle. This is in stark contrast to the human caused tension between the two embattled submarines.


This serigraph has participated in the following International Exhibits;

Ninth Life Fine Art Gallery, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, USA 2003

12th International Painting Exhibition, Omma Center for Contemporary Art, Crete, Greece 2002