In 1868, Laura Jernegan, a 6 year old girl from Massachusetts, USA set out on a three year whaling voyage to the Pacific Ocean. During this voyage Laura wrote a journal about her life on the whaling ship. She mainly notes banal daily events, but regularly describes the slaughter of whales in great detail.
explores the possibility that a 6 year old who observes the slaughter of whales on a regular basis could, in later years, experience huge psychological and physical trauma. Laura’s allergy to oil, which subsequently triggers an uncontrollable act of ridding her skin of all materials, represents this trauma. The text in , written by Laura’s physiologist, examines the stimulus and the abstract imagery represents Laura’s memory.