Beautiful Whale – An Exhibition by Bryant Austin
Multi-media artist, Byrant Austin, had the courage to do what most people only dream of doing. He quit his job in pursuit of his passion- whales. Byrant sold everything he owned and set sail on the seas, equipped with camera and an intent to photograph whales as they had never been photographed before. His risk has paid off, as he looks forward to another solo exhibition, this time at the Museum of Monterey, California.
In a recent interview with the Santa Cruz Sentinel, Austin described how early on in his endeavours, the magnitude of what he had taken on set in. However, a particularly magical encounter with a whale and her calf quickly changed all that:
"I went there ready to give up. I regretted spending the money to go to the South Pacific...and it was two weeks into that trip when I had two whales swim right up to me, a mother and a calf." As Austin swam in the water, the calf came extremely close to him, to the point where he thought he would be hit by it. The mother whale, sensing danger, then came up behind Austin and gently nudged him. Austin turned around to find himself eye-to-eye with one of the largest creatures on earth. The 45 ton Humpback reportedly reached out with her massive fin and gently touched him.
It was at this point Austin realised there was no going back- he had to pursue his dream as he wanted to everyone to have such a magical experience of being to so close to such a beautiful animal.
The artist went on to develop a complex photographic process. Using digital cameras and portrait lenses, Austin takes hundreds of photos and then later melds them together digitally. This process enables him to create extremely high resolution images, giving the viewer as much information about the whale as possible. His works show the viewer the whale's soulful eyes and battle-scarred skin as well as the enormity of the creature.
Austin has exhibited internationally and will be releasing a book, also entitled 'Beautiful Whale,' next month.
Find out more about his upcoming exhibition at the MOM (Museum of Monterey).