Stephen Dupont. Nature’s Lungs.
Nature’s Lungs, 2018 (From the series “Are We Dead Yet?”)
Are We Dead Yet? Is an ongoing series of works centered around our planet’s climate crisis focused on recent disasters and events in my own country Australia. From one of the worst drought’s in living memory, to the recent catastrophic black summer bush fires and floods to the destruction of native forests. Inspired by his young daughter Ava – a climate activist – our 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?
I want my photographs 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. I'm looking at this as an artistic kind of canvas – a way to view the tragedies and the trauma of the earth, but to find some sort of beauty in it as well, in the color palette and patterns of the landscape. I’m highlighting the catastrophe to agitate viewers to gaze deeper – these photographs might be beautiful, but if you look at them really closely, there's a very deep message in all of them and there's a real sense of urgency in what I’ve captured.
Stephen Dupont is an acclaimed Australian photographer and artist whose work has earned him photography’s most prestigious prizes, including the 2007 W. Eugene Smith Grant for Humanistic Photography for his work in Afghanistan, and the 2010 Gardner Fellowship for his work in Papua New Guinea. His work has been exhibited at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the International Center of Photography, the New York Public Library, the National Museum of the Marine Corp, The Australian War Memorial, among other venues.
Follow Stephen on instagram @stephenmdupont.