Kurt Augusta Septimus

Seals are part of Cornwall’s heritage having been around for around 8000 years! Art is a key component of Cornwall’s cultural heritage too.

On Friday 21st February these two worlds aligned as Septimus and Augusta (CSGRT’s 2.4m adult male and .92m 3 day old pup skeletons) visited the Jackson Foundation Gallery in St Just in Penwith.


The stunning Jackson Foundation Gallery                                               Science and art combined

Organised by CSGRT volunteer Malcolm Baker and the Jackson Foundation’s Zinzi and Fynn Tucker, this family friendly event proved highly popular with all age groups as large numbers of people visited throughout the day, many lingering for several hours to participate in the hands on seal related activities, look and learn about the two skeletons, watch the 20 minute loop of CSGRT films, explore Septimus brand new virtual reality (VR) experience, chat and discover a range of ecoproducts and purchase a few souvenirs.


Families enjoyed our anatomical activities                                                …and got to handle a seal pup skull

The contrasting stories told by Septimus and Augusta’s skeletons graphically illustrate the challenges our modern marine world poses for this native, globally rare, UK speciality species – a saga that spans cradle to grave. Both skeletons have shocking tales to tell and lessons for us all to learn from.

CSGRT’s brand new VR experience created by Rose Summers is epic enabling everyone to thoroughly explore his skeleton by walking through it, manipulating it in 3d and even scaling Septimus so he can sit on your hand. Another serendipitous development in Septimus story spooked us out as the first person to put on the VR googles was a young man called Ruen and any Cornish language speaker will know Ruen means seal!

DSCN1941 Rose and Ruen VRDSC06251

Ruen and Rose in two different worlds                                                        Rob and Sue deliver their ‘double act’ talk

Septimus and Augusta’s highlight of the day was meeting Kurt Jackson in person and answering the many questions he had about their experiences in the wild.

Later in the afternoon, CSGRT’s founder Sue Sayer and Rob Wells (who knew Septimus when he was alive) gave an illustrated and animated talk about the life, death and immortality of Septimus and Augusta to packed and enthralled audience.

Many thanks to everyone who made this experience such a huge success, particularly Malcolm, Zinzi and Fynn, as well as the many volunteers who widely distributed posters across SW Cornwall and Marion (CSGRT’s Amazement and Discovery Ranger) who coordinated everything at HQ.

Augusta was part funded by private donations with the remainder forming part of our generous National Lottery Heritage Fund grant which also provided the VR kit through which people were able to explore Septimus from all angles.

Of course we are massively grateful that so many of you turned up! This was a truly magical collaboration between Art and Science creating powerful emotional connections for us all.

(Talk photo courtesy of Barry and Joyce Williams)