National Gallery celebrates coral reefs

| 01/05/2018
CNS Local Life

Colourful Soft Coral by Ellen Cuylaerts

(CNS Local Life): The National Gallery of the Cayman Islands (NGCI) is hosting the work of 30 local and international underwater photographers in support of the International Year of the Coral Reef initiative. The exhibition, “Coral Encounters: Photographs from Our Underwater World”, offers the chance to view one of the world’s most diverse environments and to take a close-up look at some of the creatures that call it home.

Featured photographers were selected from an international call-out and they include well-known local professionals and local newcomers as well as photographers from Canada, the UK, France and Australia, stated an NGCI press release.

The exhibition, which is free, opens on 4 May and runs until 16 August.

For low-lying islands like Cayman, coral reefs act as vital barriers from storm surges and hurricanes. They support an astonishing variety of marine life – more than a quarter of all marine species globally – and provide food and livelihoods for thousands of people, said the NGCI, noting that without careful stewardship, these fragile ecosystems are easily threatened.

CNS Local Life

Lava Lamps by Courtney Platt

The combination of global changes in ocean temperature along with local pressures such as pollution and overfishing, has led to changes that could become irreversible within the next few decades.

“This project sits at the junction between art and science,” said NGCI director Natalie Urquhart. “It brings together photographers, curators, divers, scientists and educators who are passionate about preserving our underwater environment and raising awareness about the beauty and fragility of our coral reefs”.

Accordingly, an extensive exhibition programme has been developed in partnership with the local organisations who are leading the conversation about reef health. This includes on-site and on-line resources, lectures, panels discussions, workshops, school tours and family events.

The participating photographers, in alphabetical order, are Emma Camp, Tracy Candish, Eleanor Chalfen, Cathy Church, Tim Codling, Martin Colognoli, Julie Corsetti, Ellen Cuylaerts, Chase Darnell, Sharon Davies, Darvin Ebanks, Laura L Fall, Carl Hawkes, Lucy Janes, Aubri Keith, Lauren Knuckey, Yuri Korchynski, Jim MacCallum, Elena McDonough, Lindsay McGill, Dusty Norman, Courtney Platt, Elizabeth Riley, Peggy Sinclaire, Brooke Sipple, Monte Lee Thornton, Mark Tilley, Jason Washington, Dale Williams and Bryan Winter.

Programme partners include the Central Caribbean Marine Institute, the Cayman Islands Department of Environment, the National Trust for the Cayman Islands, Eco Divers, Plastic Free Cayman, Cathy Church’s Photo Centre, Courtney Platt and Stacie Sybersma.

School tours of the exhibition, with related activities, can also be booked at no cost as part of the NGCI/Dart Minds Inspired initiative.


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Category: Arts, Photography

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