The Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year returns this year to one of the most unique outdoor arts and exhibition spaces in the country – Grizedale Forest located in the heart of The Lake District.
Now in its fourth year and in association with Forestry Commission England, Environmental Photographer of the Year is one of the world’s fastest growing photography competitions with a truly international reach.
The exhibition will return to Grizedale Forest in September from the Royal Geographic Society in London to showcase some of the very best in environmental photography. The photographs and films reflect the urgent environmental and social concerns that affect us today.
The 2016 exhibition will present 60 works from professional and amateur photographers from around the world in a brand new dedicated exhibition space in Grizedale Forest’s Visitor Centre.
Grizedale Forest, which is famous for its outdoor sculptures, has established itself as a unique space to experience art in the natural environment. The public will be able to visit the exhibition from the 3rd September – 1st January 2017, free of charge.
This year’s competition sees the introduction of The Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award – fast becoming an important award in the field of environmental photography. The first winner of this prestigious award is Iranian photographer Pedram Yazdani for ‘Sand’, selected by Ian Gambles, the Director of Forestry Commission England.
The powerful image depicts The Salt Lake Urmia in Iran, the biggest salt lake in the Middle East, which was declared by UNESCO as a Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and was used by many species of birds on their annual migration. The lake now contains only 10 per cent of the original amount of water, as a result both of climate change, and of dam and well construction.
The image is part of a series of photographs by Pedram Yazdani which will be seen by the public for the very first time at Grizedale Forest.
Hayley Skipper, National Arts Development Programme Manager at Forestry Commission England and one of the selectors for the exhibition, said:
“As a key partner of the Atkins CIWEM Environmental Photographer of the Year with many shared values, including promoting environmental awareness, Forestry Commission England is delighted to be hosting this exhibition at Grizedale Forest for the fourth year running. The exhibition showcases some of the most powerful works of environmental photography, in a space that will connect visitors to the natural world.
“We’re also incredibly proud to present Pedram Yazdani with the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award for his striking image of Lake Urmia. Forestry Commission England is responsible for protecting, expanding and promoting the sustainable management of woodlands, we feel it is very important to draw attention to the impact that land management decisions are having on our environment.”
Pedram Yazdani, the winner of the Forestry Commission England People, Nature and Economy Award, said:
“What is happening in Iran to Lake Urmia can, and is, happening in other places. Water is wasted everywhere and rivers are dammed in every country. The purpose of my work is to help to prevent this from happening elsewhere. Education should be the most powerful tool to understand water as the most valuable asset.”
The overall winner of the 2016 Environmental Photographer of the Year Award and the £3,000 prize was Sara LindstrÖm, from Sweden, for her imposing photograph, ‘Wildfire’, taken of a forest fire in southern Alberta, in the Canadian Rockies.
For further information, please visit Grizedale Forest’s webpage or the Forest Art Works webpage.
For more hi-res images, interview opportunities or to visit the exhibition, please contact:
Andy Williams at MHP Communications on 0203 128 6301, 07912 799 537 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Or Katherine Paterson at Forestry Commission England on Katherine.Patterson@forestry.gsi.cov.uk / 0300 067 4491
*Pedram Yazdani, Sand, 2015 / Iran