By Livi Player, Arts Editor
The beauty and fragility of life on earth is beautifully presented in the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition, which opened at Bristol’s own M Shed in November and is running until 4th May. The world-renowned exhibition, developed and produced by the Natural History Museum London, sponsored at M Shed by Bristol Energy, National Friendly and Pukka Herbs.
Showcasing 100 new dramatic and thought provoking images from beautiful environments to animal behaviours, and endangered habitats - this incredible exhibition is a must see this year.
The exhibit beautifully captures some of the most spectacular images of our natural world; with some images meant to shock, some meant to sadden and others to enlighten. Each image has its own story of its photographer, where it was taken and how, during a time of such environmental crisis. The stories were utterly moving and deeply thought provoking, for anyone who loves David Attenborough’s documentaries, I couldn’t recommend this exhibit enough.
Now in its fifty-fifth year, this year alone the competition attracted over 48,000 entries from both professional and amateur photographers, spanning across 100 countries. One particularly inspiring part of the exhibition for me was the Young Photographers display, truly demonstrating talent from as young as 11 years old.
Some of the most incredible images for me were the ones taken in the pinnacle moments of life or death drama; a baby hippo in the teeth of an alpha male, a gentoo penguin fleeing from a deadly leopard seal, alongside more harrowing images of a turtle suffocated by plastic, and hanging skinned rattlesnakes beside triumphant bloody handprints of children after the Sweetwater Rattlesnake Roundup Festival in the USA.
With the global environmental movement of the Extinction Rebellion and Bristol’s own Youth Climate Strike this week, the exhibition couldn’t be more appropriate. It truly makes its audience think about how our actions as humans can directly impact the wildlife around us, from poaching to felling, and from road kill to animal migration, I know I left considering how some of my everyday actions could have impacts on the environment around me - and what I could do to better my impact on the world. This very inspiring and beautiful exhibition is a must see before it leaves Bristol in May, especially if you're a fellow David Attenborough and wildlife documentary fan like myself.
With free entry for students on Wednesdays when you show a valid form of student ID, it’s not an opportunity to miss out on! Find out more about each of the photographs in this article at the exhibition in Bristol’s M Shed from 23 November - 4 May 2020.
£6 adult | £5 concession | Under 16s Free
Includes £1 voluntary donation to Bristol Museums Development Trust (BMDT).
Students and 16-25 year olds get free entry on Wednesdays.
Featured image credit: Ralf Schneider / Wildlife Photographer of the Year
Have you been to the exhibit yet? What did you think of the photography?