Eye to eye by Bryant Austin
Eye to eye with the world’s largest animal: See the world’s largest whale picture at Oslo S!
Bryant Austin is the only photographer in the world who has taken on the challenge of showing the largest animal on the planet, the whale, in life size photographs. His most recent work was photographing a whole adult minke whale. This picture will now adorn the front facade of Oslo’s central station, Oslo S, for a month. Presenting the exhibition in Norway are: Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge, NOAH-for dyrs rettigheter and World Society for the Protection of Animals (WSPA) – in collaboration with Rom for Kunst.
The exhibition ’Øye til øye’ (Eye to Eye) is an assembly of Bryant Austian’s life-sized whale photos. The exhibition premiered in Oslo last year, and was visited by hundreds of people in the few days it was on show. The exhibition has since been on display in Sandefjord’s Whale Hunting Museum, and the Polar Museum in Tromsø. The exhibition’s opening reception also launched an online campaign, ‘The Big Picture’, which has gathered over 3000 signatures in a few months.
Austin’s work gives the viewer the unique experience of being present in the whales’ element, in the depths of the ocean – eye to eye with these gigantic animals, like Austin himself has been. His work is entirely dependent upon the whales initiating a close inspection, to within two meters, of him. Austin spends months with specific whale populations, and uses the world’s most advanced digital photographic technology to create the pictures to scale.
“To be eye to eye with an inquisitive whale is a rare and special moment. It is a moment that defies words and can only be communicated visually. I am glad to be able to contribute in creating a new perspective on whales and hope that the photos will stimulate and inpsire a debate on human interaction with whales”, Bryant Austin says.
”We hope and believe that meeting the whales ’eye to eye’, which we here give the Norwegian public the opportunity to do, will create a new understanding and respect for these animals. It will be interesting to see the public’s reaction to the exhibition in a public arena,” says the marine mammal adviser for Dyrebeskyttelsen Norge, veterinarian Tanya Schumacher.
”We believe that Norwegians are ready to look at whales and whaling with a new perspective, and people’s reception of the exhibition indicates this is so. The photographs are both impressive and magnificent, but we also see this exhibition as a challenge to us humans: Can we stand eye to eye with these creatures without looking down, after the exploitation they have suffered from human hands?” says veterinarian and leader for NOAH – for animal rights, Siri Martinsen.
With thanks to: Rom Eiendom AS for use of the arena and Megaprint for printing.
The exhibition is produced by Kulturbyrået Mesen