Snapshots of the splashy stuff

by April 21, 2011

From the exhibition: Frank Hurley, "A turreted berg" (1913)

Guest post by Kristen Marano

It’s destructive and it’s peaceful. From turbulent flooding to still emerald lakes, water has a powerful effect on our well-being and on the stunning landscapes around us, yet in our fast-paced society, people can easily overlook how ugly and hostile our planet would be with significantly less of it around.

“Deep Water”, an exhibition at Australia’s National Gallery of Victoria (April 2nd to Sept 11th), reminds visitors of water’s diverse qualities by presenting creative responses to experiences with water through thirty-eight photographs. Collected in two sections, fresh water and salt water, the pieces have been selected from the work of photographers Narelle Autio, Frank Hurley, Ansel Adams, Peter Henry Emerson, Jacques Henri Lartigue, Max Dupain, Andre Kertesz, and others.

Says Susan van Wyk, the gallery’s curator of photography, “Water is vital for life but in contemplating its many forms, the photographers included in this exhibition are not drawn to its prosaic applications.”

In contemporary Australia we have a heightened awareness of the value and significance of water. As the recent floods reminded us, water is a fundamental element that enables and sustains all life on earth but also possesses a deadly and destructive power. Since the nineteenth century, water in all its forms has been a subject of fascination for photographers.

Read and see more here and here to refresh your own perspective on water.

Kristen Marano is a public relations professional living in Toronto. Her writing focuses on art and culture, international development, and music. Kristen can be reached at

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