‘The Ocean They Inhabit’ Exhibit Opens In May

April 21, 2023

On May 19, the Bermuda National Gallery will open The Ocean They Inhabit: Photographs by Andrew Stevenson.

A spokesperson said, ” The exhibition, which is sponsored by Butterfield, presents a series of underwater photographs and a short film by internationally renowned Bermuda-based marine researcher, photographer and filmmaker Andrew Stevenson which underscore the importance of ocean conservation.

“The photographs were taken over a two-day encounter with the same pair of humpback whales [a male and female] off Challenger Bank, a seamount 15 miles off the south-west of Bermuda, in March 2015. Stevenson was feet away from the whales when capturing the photographs. Shot in black and white, the striking images allow us to see the humpbacks – who have monochromatic vision – as scientists believe they see the world around them, reminding us of our shared existence and the importance of environmental protection for these majestic creatures, which were hunted in Bermuda’s waters as recently as 1942.

The Ocean They Inhabit Andrew Stevenson May 9, 2023

“The accompanying film, captured utilising drone technology, follows a second pair of whales as they approach Bermuda’s shallow reefs at sunset where they exfoliate in the sand holes. Its meditative quality is emphasised by the immersive experience of the aerial footage which acts as a call to action to protect the health of the ocean.

“It is estimated that between 700 and 1500 humpback whales travel through Bermuda’s waters each season on their migratory route between the northern feeding grounds of the Arctic waters and the southern breeding grounds of the West Indies. Their migration is the longest of all animals, travelling as far as 8000 km in each direction. Bermuda, with its isolated position in the mid-Atlantic, plays a unique role as a meeting point midway between the two.”

“Seventeen years ago, I had my first up close and personal encounter with a humpback whale in the water. It changed the course of my life.” says Andrew Stevenson. “I’ve since produced two documentary films, published two books, co-authored papers published in scientific journals, and identified more than 2,000 individual whales in Bermuda waters by the unique color pigmentation on the underside of their tails. The humpbacks have become a major part of my life, and in turn, l have learned much about the social complexity of their lives.

“Over the years I’ve realized that my best encounters are initiated by being passive, letting the whales come to my boat with the engine off. With an annual research permit from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, I can experience the humpbacks in their element.

“My black-and-white series of photographs of humpbacks were taken in deep water with no upwellings or particulate in the water column, giving these images an unusual clarity. It takes hours of being passive, staying close to the boat, and letting the whales approach me to obtain these images showcasing the natural beauty of these marine mammals.”

The Ocean They Inhabit Andrew Stevenson May 9, 2023 2

Peter Lapsley, Executive Director of the Bermuda National Gallery, adds: “Bermuda National Gallery’s exhibitions embrace both local and international stories and this exhibition is a wonderful example for the community. Andrew Stevenson’s photographic and video work tell the amazing story of the humpback migration and Bermuda’s role in this annual movement, but more than that, it focuses on Stevenson’s world-renowned research and accompanying photographic work.

“His research gives amazing insight and his photography and film work allow the broader public, and the world, to experience the whales and, hopefully, to better understand why they are important and how we can assist in their protection. I would like to extend a big thank you to Butterfield for understanding the importance of this and for their sponsorship of the exhibition.”

A Butterfield spokesperson said: “We are delighted to be able to support the Bermuda National Gallery once again and in particular the fascinating work of Andrew Stevenson. As we come to the end of the whale watching season in Bermuda this month, this is a timely exhibition that puts the spotlight on our marine environment. We are pleased local school tours are on offer for young people to be able to learn more and we encourage everyone in the community to come along and visit.”

The spokesperson said, “A free kids activity booklet will accompany The Ocean They Inhabit, focusing on the artistic elements of the exhibition, as well as the related research and the role of ocean conservation. The Bermuda National Gallery will be offering free exhibition tours for all schools, which can be arranged through education@bng.bm.

“The Ocean They Inhabit: Photographs by Andrew Stevenson is on display at BNG from May 19 through to September 23 and is free to the public. Sponsored by Butterfield. Exhibition curated by Eve Godet Thomas.”

click here banner animals

Read More About

Category: All, Entertainment, Environment, News