‘To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World’ an exhibit about survival

Installation image of "To Feel Something That Was Not of Our World," Pizzuti Collection of Columbus Museum of Art

When she was 7, Nina Katchadourian became fascinated with the true-adventure story, “Survive the Savage Sea,” written by Dougal Robertson and read aloud to her by her mother.

As an adult, Katchadourian, now 53, set about creating a multimedia art exhibit that captures the peril and persistence of the British family who, in 1972, survived the ordeal.

Dougal Robertson, his wife and four children set sail from Cornwall, England, on the schooner Lucette. Later in their journey, on the Pacific Ocean, a pod of orca whales capsized the boat, which sank and left the family stranded on a life raft that eventually wore out, leaving them on a small wooden dingy no larger than 10-by-5 feet. 

When a ship passed without seeing them, Dougal Robertson determined that the family’s work was not to wait to be rescued, but to work to survive. After living on a diet of turtles, dorados (mahi mahi) and the occasional flying fish, they were finally rescued after 67 days by a Japanese tuna boat.