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“Whales in Public Spaces:” A Life-Size Whale Photography Exhibition Comes to Santa Cruz
Bryant Austin in front of a life-size picture of one of his subjects, Mozart the Humpback Whale.
Bryant Austin in the waters of the South Pacific photographing a baby Humpback Whale, named Little Friday.
Click on either above image to access a downloadable high-res image for print publication.
May 17, 2007: Santa Cruz, CA - Bay Area artist and marine mammal conservationist Bryant Austin will share a small collection of his large-scale whale photographs, in support of his non-profit international conservation campaign “Whales in Public Spaces,” at The Mill Gallery, Santa Cruz, California, through to June 30, 2007.
Composed over the past two fields seasons with the South Pacific Humpback Whales, Bryant Austin explores and develops methods and techniques to produce life-size photographs of his subjects, up to twelve feet high by ninety feet long. For Austin, the size of the photograph is secondary; it is the personhood of the whale, best expressed in the eye, which he explores in depth. A reception is scheduled for Friday June 1, 2007 from 5pm to 9pm where Bryant will be present and share stories of his ongoing work.
Austin is president and founder of the non-profit Marine Mammal Conservation through the Arts (MMCTA.org). The mission of MMCTA is to approach the art of photographing and filming cetaceans with the same level of commitment and dedication as marine mammal field biologists. To produce images at this scale and with the proper impact, Austin collaborates with whale biologists and explores the teachings of animal intuitives. He seeks out genuine connections with his subjects, where then, at a distance of two meters from the whale, he begins the process of crafting his compositions and the long journey of conveying these truths back to his tribe - to you.
Austin's dominant drive is to explore compositions that affect viewers on a universal subconscious level. Over the years, this vision has been distilled into three basic elements: water, sun, and the eye, what Bryant refers to as “the portal to the conscious universe.”
Preparations are underway to begin work with the endangered Blue, Fin, and Humpback whales utilizing the state of the art Hasselblad H3D-39 Mpixel digital camera. It will be a long-term effort where he will work with these whale species for entire seasons annually until his visions are realized.
To fund this work, Bryant is releasing a very small limited edition series of the Humpback Whales he worked with during his two field seasons. Currently, the sale of these prints provides the sole source of funding for his on-going efforts to explore and compose imagery for his non-profit Whales in Public Spaces Campaign.
Bryant Austin, born in Shingle Springs, California, in 1969, is a self-taught artist who began his practice at the age of six. His artistic influences are Alberto Giacometti, Christo and Jean Claude, and Andy Goldsworthy.
Bryant Austin's gallery showing will take place at the Santa Cruz Institute of Contemporary Arts and The Mill Gallery, 131 Front Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060 - http://www.scica.org/scica2_002.htm
For additional information please visit: www.studiocosmos.com and www.mmcta.org