One of the most major environmental issues facing mankind is the very essence and my motivation behind “SEALEVEL”.
the art of awareness
I want to bring awareness to one of the major environmental issues of our time through the medium of fine art photography. Telling the shocking story about climate change by choosing to use beauty without words – the silence of change – the rising sea level.
A personal photographic project that’s relevant to all. To initiate a point of interest while educating and informing people. An awareness that will empower individuals to exert influences through the choices they make as consumers, voters and surfers.
To address any issue we must first be able to identify what that issue is. It needs to be clear and have a potent relevance to our every day lives. We are constantly exposed to fear as a community, both real and perceived. Our security, the safety of our family, our health and well-being are threatened.
I draw reference from this powerful statement:
Despite this, most people still feel powerless to act, and see climate change as someone else's responsibility, and that it does not effect them directly. Unless an individual understands how that specific problem will impact upon them, it is unlikely they will feel empowered or motivated enough to take any action. Climate change and the resulting rise of the sea level is a silent and invisible issue!
Two years – 730 sunrises ago, I made a personal commitment to creatively document this silent change - hence this photographic series - SEALEVEL. Exploring the elements and their interplay with the ocean before sunrise. Distilling these elements to a bare minimum to express a body of work that is purely abstract. Captured moments from natures rich pallet of colours, its subtle tones and myriad of hues reflecting the mood of each new day.
As this project has evolved over time I’ve been able to reflect on the importance of sea level in my life, my entire existence revolves around it. With three decades as a surf photographer, I have had the privilege to photograph in, on and below the waters surface, in some of the most remote places on the planet. From the island of Svalbard, which is north of Norway, also Iceland and Russia, Madagascar, the Galapagos Islands, and almost every island of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic Oceans.
When you take into account that most of the worlds population is concentrated on the coast, any change in the level of the sea, even by the slightest amount, has the potential for catastrophic global consequences.
As a surf photographer, I completely comprehend that a minute rise of the sea level would effect every surf-able wave on the planet. Yet, to contemplate the potential change that this would have on life as we know it, is almost too overwhelming to understand.
Documenting the ocean at sea level has created a channel to introduce you to the issues of climate change through fine art photography. Create an opportunity not only to reflect on the ocean and its beauty, but also create awareness that is supported by relevant scientific information. “SEALEVEL”, will give rise to ponder, discuss and consider the effects we are having on our planet through our everyday living choices. A body of work that is designed to inspire and educate thus to eventuate a greater personal responsibility.
Empowered is the informed individual to seek solutions and influence the decision makers, we have a potent voice, we are a powerful collective that is often underestimated.
I'm travelling to Hawaii this week to begin the first of a series of exhibitions showing globally of 'SEALEVEL'. The initial showing is scheduled for the first week of December, just before the Billabong Pipe Masters gets underway. You can catch the exhibition at the Pipeline Gallery at Haleiwa on the North Shore. Dates will be announced on social media (see links below).
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