The title of this FREE Photographic Exhibition alone is confronting enough - Are We Dead Yet? Journey through the lens of award-winning Australian photographer Stephen Dupont as he documents the devastating effects of climate change in our nation with visually stunning and confronting images of 20 of his works. Opening Night is on Friday 6 August 2021 from 6-8pm AEST at aMBUSH Gallery Kambri, Level 2, Building 153 Kambri Cultural Centre, The Australian National University, Acton. Get your free tickets to attend. There'll be drinks from Capital Brewing Co., Lerida Estate and music from local DJ Feraude. All artworks are also for sale. Curated and presented by aMBUSH Gallery, the Exhibition will continue daily from 10am-6pm weekdays and 12pm-5pm on weekends until Sunday 12 September 2021.
Thus shifts the conversation from 'Is climate change happening?' to 'Is it too late?' Part of a long-term project by this renowned photographer and intrepid world traveller, images have been shot over the past few years in locations across New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and Tasmania. Intriguing and heartbreaking at the same time, this exhibition is a display of the landscape and people caught in the midst of climate change events. Inspired by his young daughter Ava, a climate activist, Dupont's discussions about environmental issues inevitably end up at the big question: is it possible to save the planet, or have we pushed Mother Nature to the brink of extinction?
Dupont wanted his images to reflect both the consequences of our current path as well as signal the urgency to find new ones, while motivating viewers to question their roles and responsibilities in this real-time catastrophe. Amidst the tragedies and trauma, there's also some sort of beauty to be found in the colour palette of the landscape. These photographs might be beautiful, but look deep and find the deep message in all of them and a real sense of urgency that it displays. Traversing much of Australia, these images tell striking visual stories of suffering, confusion, anger and fear.
The message here is to look at what's happened in the last 2-3 years with fires, floods, drought, and now the mice - one disaster after another caused by the potent effects of climate change. As Dupont describes, "The Australian 'Black Summer' bushfires of 2019/20 are embedded in my memory like none before. A long drought, a sunburnt landscape waiting to ignite. It caught the nation by surprise. In swept the westerly winds and blistering temperatures, and then the fires. From Queensland to Victoria, the coastline was engulfed by hundreds of raging infernos. We are used to fires in this country, but I couldn't recall anything on this scale and with this ferocity."
Nature responds to such extreme events by either adapting or becoming extinct, and Dupont believes that we in turn must react by accepting the evidence in front of us, educating ourselves, and committing to change our way of life. "We're not going to have a planet to live on if we don't do it; that's the bottom line. It's really the second before midnight, and if we don't do something, it's a ticking time bomb" Dupont urges.