Endangered Existence is the current Fratelli's Cafe Gallery art exhibit for the month of July, made by Memphis Botanic Garden's own Taylor Mitchell, who works with the Education Department. This conservation photography is about Taylor's passion for endangered animals. Conservation photography is made specifically to bring awareness to plight of certain subject matter. It's a form of documentary photography, yet in this case, also portrait work. The very fact that Taylor can easily take a portrait of a Jaguar in the United States, in 2014, talks about the existence of the Jaguar now. This work documents humanity's current relationship to the Jaguar—which also makes it historical. Taylor's intention and urge to discuss the plight of these animals is what drives her work. She hopes that you will be fascinated by their beauty and importance too.
She's printed these colorful images on watercolor paper and hung them unframed taking nothing away from the striking images of these creatures. I really appreciate being able to see the feathers of the flamingo's neck so clearly. It looks like soft, thick fleece or fur and I didn't know this before seeing her photograph. Images are $100 each.
Here is what Taylor writes about this work:
I have been working on this series for two years, but feel that this is a necessary ongoing project that can bring awareness to the issue of species extinction.
As of this year 16,306 species, both animals and plants, are threatened with extinction. Not all of the species in my series are threatened or endangered but I feel that I could see them reach this fate in my lifetime. We often go through our day-to-day routines not realizing the impact we have on the species we share this planet with. Endangered Existence is meant to bring awareness to the beautiful creatures we often take for granted.
Although I find these animals naturally beautiful, I like to enhance the color when printing to bring attention to their vibrant life. When shooting I like to use a macro lens to focus on the up-close detail of each creature.
I hope my photography can help others realize how vital these creatures are to planet Earth and inspire them to work toward a more harmonious existence. I want future generations to see the things we have been so lucky to witness.
About the artist:
“I’m working on a degree in biology and photography at the University of Memphis. I aspire to find the right job that allows me to do both Wildlife Conservation and Wildlife Photography. My dream is to raise awareness of the animals that are in desperate need of our help. They say the first step to solving any problem is raising awareness. I have been behind a camera as long as I can remember thanks to my wonderful parents who have always provided for me and have helped me live my dreams.”
All images property of Taylor Mitchell © 2014
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