‘We are mammals vulnerable to climate change’

PADDINGTON: Tamara Dean has won the 2019 Moran Contemporary Photographic Prize (MCPP) for her striking underwater photograph “Endangered”.

Image: “Endangered” by Tamara Dean

Awards judge Cheryl Newman said: “Tamara Dean’s winning image is a personal response to the politics of change using a contemporary photographic language. This symbolic image addresses the fragility of our planet and vulnerability of its inhabitants. “Endangered” is an important picture; its message is challenging, its presentation poetic.”

Ms Dean is a respected Australian photographer whose work explores the relationship between humans and the natural world. “Endangered” is one of a series of photographs about the Great Barrier Reef.

She says of her photograph: “The Great Barrier Reef, the world’s largest living marine structure, is finding little reprieve from more intense and frequent marine heatwaves brought on by climate change that cause devastating bleaching. Biologists predict that if we continue carrying on the way we are then by the end of this century 50 per cent of species living today will face extinction. And humans are not immune. To see ourselves as different and separate to the ecology and ecosystem of our planet is leaving humanity unprepared. We are mammals in a sensitive ecosystem, vulnerable to the same forces of climate change as every other living creature.”

Ms Dean’s photograph was selected from over 3,000 entries. She was presented with her $50,000 award in May at Juniper Hall, Paddington, where “Endangered” was displayed as part of The Moran Contemporary Photographic Exhibition until Sunday June 2.

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