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Shadows exhibition

Check out Shadows on the Great Barrier Reef photo stills from 16 exhibition films, featuring the music of renowned Australian Indigenous artist, Tjupurru. Shadows immersed audiences in re-visualising sharks and marine life facing the environmental crisis of dredging and development on the Great Barrier Reef, a World Heritage protected area. Works contrast animal perspectives in healthy habitats with toxic development at Gladstone Harbour, where confronting imagery depicts the suffering and fatal impacts of bleeding eyes, skin lesions and diseases from sediment dumping. Shadows' images were presented to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee on their visit to assess the reef. The World Heritage Committee found the Great Barrier Reef to be endangered and recommended the ceasing of dredging until further impact studies are undertaken. 


Shadows was the creative practice component of Bridgette's PhD in photography, launched at The Block, Creative Industries Precinct, QUT in 2012. The exhibition raised photographic and design strategies for re-presenting animals, in particular the shark, in evocative ways designed to unsettle humancentric steroetypes. 16 interdependent films created a digital meta-narrative illuminating Great Barrier Reef ecologies. Works were projected onto 5 x 5 metre panels, a suspended floating screen and multiple digital screens for maximum impact. Overlapping sound accompanied visual strategies for immersive engagement. Research, design, imagery, editing and sound were produced by Bridgette. PhD research partners included University of Queensland marine research stations, Brisbane City Council, Sea World, Gladstone commercial fisherman, Trevor Falzon and West End State School. Prominent Australian photo-media artist, Marian Drew found Shadows produced innovative strategies with a "wide range of successful works ... through immersion, aesthetics, audio design, emotional engagement, and indigenous reference". She wrote that the deliberate use of "aesthetics to create a parallel narrative and dialogue... will break down disciplinary silos joining arts and science together and promoting common goals." 























bridgette mckelvey

media consultant
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