A world-renowned photography exhibition showcasing stunning wildlife from across the globe has opened in Coventry.
Incredible images from the Natural History Museum’s 59th Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition are now on show at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
The Coventry venue is the only one in England besides the Natural History Museum to have the lightbox edition, which uses digital lighting to bring each image to life alongside an atmospheric nature soundtrack.
Launching in 1965, Wildlife Photographer of the Year is the most prestigious photography event of its kind. A million people are expected to visit the exhibition on its international tour.
This year’s competition attracted an astounding 49,957 entries from photographers of all ages and experience levels from 95 countries.
Richard Sabin, Curator of Marine Mammals at the Natural History Museum, was a judge for this year’s edition and urged people throughout the West Midlands to visit the exhibition.
He said: “This is the most fantastic wildlife photography exhibition in the world. There are images of nature that are beautiful, magical and entrancing, but also things that show you the human effects on the landscape. I think there’s something here for everyone.
“Visiting this wonderful exhibition at the Herbert will give people the opportunity and children the inspiration to become advocates and ambassadors for the natural world.
“I’m a great believer in people from around the country being able to see the things we have in our national museums, and often that means travelling to places like London to see those collections.
“I’m originally from the West Midlands myself so it’s great that we are seeing the national museums releasing these wonderful exhibitions to parts of the country like Coventry, as it means that more people have the opportunity to come with their kids and see these amazing photographs and to be inspired.”
The exhibition, which will run at the Herbert until April 1 2024, features fascinating animal behaviour and the amazing diversity of the natural world, shining a spotlight on species across the globe.
The loan of the exhibition further strengthens the partnership between the Herbert and the Natural History Museum, which earlier in the year saw Dippy, The Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur, begin a three-year residency in the Coventry venue.
Rosie Addenbrooke at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum said: “We are thrilled to be one of a handful of UK venues hosting the Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
“This is an incredible opportunity for audiences to see some of the world’s finest wildlife photography and engage with the incredible stories unfolding in the natural world.
“It is an exhibition that will appeal to people of all ages as the photographs really do capture nature – in all its glory and emotion – and that is something that can move all of us.”
Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: “We are facing urgent biodiversity and climate crises, and photography is a powerful catalyst for change. The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition reveals some of nature’s most wondrous sights whilst offering hope and achievable actions visitors can take to help protect the natural world.”
Chair of the judging panel, Kathy Moran, said: “What most impressed the jury was the range of subjects, from absolute beauty, rarely seen behaviours and species to images that are stark reminders of what we are doing to the natural world. We felt a powerful tension between wonder and woe that we believe came together to create a thought-provoking collection of photographs.”
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.