Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition a massive hit

EXHIBITION WINNER: South Australian Museum director Brian Oldman (left) and Walkway Gallery director Naomi Fallon standing in front of the competition's overall winner, an image of a dead fin whale taken by Matt Beetson from Western Australia.
EXHIBITION WINNER: South Australian Museum director Brian Oldman (left) and Walkway Gallery director Naomi Fallon standing in front of the competition's overall winner, an image of a dead fin whale taken by Matt Beetson from Western Australia.

For over a month, the 2019 Australian Geographic Nature Photographer of the Year exhibition at the Walkway Gallery has astounded visitors.

Featuring the best nature photography from Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica and Papua New Guinea, the exhibition has been a major success and has kickstarted a massive year for the gallery.

Now in its eighteenth year, the competition received 2220 entries from 16 countries around the world, including half a dozen South Australian-based photographers.

Walkway Gallery director Naomi Fallon said the high visitation numbers, partnered with fantastic local support, resulted in the exhibition being extended beyond it's original finish date.

"Due to how popular the exhibition has been, we made the decision to extend it during the school holidays, giving residents and tourists the opportunity for to come in and have a look," she said.

While art is subjective to many, the photo exhibition showcased the extraordinary in a simple way, with attendees blown away by the quality pieces on display.

"The feedback we have received has been nothing short of amazing - this has been an exhibition that many people across the district have engaged with," Ms Fallon said.

"Everyone knows about the magazines, so I believe that a lot of people knew they were going to view some incredibly photographs - people appreciate quality when they see it."

The Tatiara is home to countless amateur and professional photographers, and for those who decided to view the exhibition, they were able see exactly how each photograph was shot.

"We have a number of great photographers throughout our district, and being able to see the settings that each photographer used to take the photo would have been interesting to many," Ms Fallon said.

Ms Fallon said the COVID-19 pandemic has presented a number of obstacles for the art industry over the past 15 months, however, things are starting to look up.

"The exhibition was amazingly popular - the pandemic has really gutted the art industry, and to have a successful exhibition here in Bordertown to kick off the year is really promising," Naomi said.

"We have been overwhelmed by how successful the exhibition was, and hopefully this will open up the door for us to do more things like this in the future."

The exhibition featured 10 different sections, and covered things such as animal behaviour, landscape and even the impact humans have on the planet.

Many visitors were drawn to the competition's overall winner, an image of a dead fin whale taken by Matt Beetson from Western Australia.

"The photo was taken by a drone, so you're looking down on the whale and seeing it from above," South Australian Museum director Brian Oldman said during the exhibition's official opening.

"You have this balance between a photograph being taken by the latest technology and it's recording something that has been going on since the beginning of time - nature's great cycle."

The gallery's next exhibition will feature the Tatiara Palette Painters and Keith Art Group, with the official opening to take place on May 7 at 6:30pm.

To RSVP for the opening, contact: gallery@tatiara.sa.gov.au or 8752 1044.