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The Memphis Zoo Aquarium images taken in Spring of 2012 are all about the tension between artificial and natural. For me, they evoke a sense of otherworldly peace with simultaneous disgust in the use of dwindling natural resources to isolate and capture nature for our own amusement.

Aquariums are pure fantasy! They draw us in and invite us to ponder the wonder of life and its unknown mysteries. Yet, if we worked at an aquarium we’d see it differently. We’d see that all the things that right themselves naturally in nature, mankind has to work very hard to emulate in an aquarium environment..

All of these contradictions made this series interesting for me. In the far future, will aquariums no longer be prioritized as a necessary reason to burn coal or will they be highly treasured as one of the last places many species of aquatic life can persist?

I find that shooting through the glass and having the image obscured by this manmade material is part of the beauty and the necessary tension in these images.

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One comment

  • Nice review, Sonia! Congratulations to you and your family on Sunny. I’m sure Sunny is HAPPY you argued so gracefully for the cause! Sunny looks like a nice cat.

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