Exhibition Opens 26/1/2019
The Red List.
This project was inspired by the dissertation ‘Seeing the Unseen’ which focused on the practice, process and psychological underpinnings of macro photography. Through this, an awareness was developed of the way macro photography can be utilised as an educational tool. Insects have traditionally been a chosen subject matter for macro photographers, however, it was not until researching the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ that the plight of these insects and the potential for macro photography to raise public awareness, was recognised.
The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ is widely recognised as the most comprehensive, objective, global approach for evaluating the conservation status of plant and animal species. Whilst the written text it provides is highly informative an opportunity to enhance this with high-quality macro images which showcase the beauty, intricacy and form of these insects, was identified. This supports the public identification of these species and also elevates their importance in terms of both the aesthetics and their conservation status, in order to raise much needed public awareness.
On a personal level, it was shocking to realise the sheer number of insects in the UK that are threatened, endangered or even extinct, primarily due to man. Deforestation and the resulting loss of habitat are primarily responsible for a continuing decline in both the diversity and recorded numbers of insect species. It is essential that we recognise the beauty and value of these insects before it is too late, their loss would be immeasurable.
As Sir David Attenborough cautions:
“If we and the rest of the back-boned animals were to disappear overnight, the rest of the world would get on pretty well. But if the invertebrates were to disappear, the world’s ecosystems would collapse.”
This project has only been possible due to the support and expertise of the entomologists at Manchester Museum, who have allowed their extensive catalogue of specimens to be photographed.
Fifteen of the images created from this project have been accepted by the Museum for an exhibition to take place starting from the 26th January 2019 until June 2019. For more details on the Museum and the planned exhibition please see www.museum.manchester.ac.uk. or the blog section of my site.