Albertans can count themselves lucky for being blessed with incredible nature and the scenic beauty of the Rocky Mountains. For example, the Icefields Parkway between Lake Louise and Jasper is one of the most spectacular drives in the world. Along the entire route, there are mountains, canyons, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, forests and hiking trails and wildlife. The natural spaces in the province are utilized by its residents as well as visitors from around the world throughout the year. During the past 4 months, I was amazed to meet visitors from as far as Australia, New Zealand, Spain, the UK, Lebanon, Peru, Iran, Japan, the Netherlands and Brazil, among many other countries, enjoying our winter activities.
As lovers of nature, and to experience nature of a different kind, Albertans travel to the oceans to swim and snorkel in warm waters as well as for relaxation. The oceans are filled with over one million species of living creatures — from the tiniest Zooplankton, to the nudibranch to the blue-ringed octopus, to the dolphin, to the shark and the whale. But how many of us, while playing and enjoying the ocean, will dive into its depths to experience the marvels of the underwater world?
Well, we have a wonderful opportunity here in Calgary as the Glenbow presents a captivating exhibition of sea animal photographs captured by Prince Hussain Aga Khan, whose love for wildlife began when he was only 5 years old. This early childhood interest has grown into a passion for diving into the oceans and mingling with sea creatures of all kinds. Over the last decade he has taken thousands of pictures and a selection of his photographs have been published in books such as Diving Into Wildlife and the most recent one The Living Sea which is also the theme of the Glenbow exhibition. Hussain’s photographs have also appeared on National Geographic blogs.
Aside from taking photographs, Prince Hussain has become an activist on the protection and preservation of ecosystems in oceans and seas. Through his organization Focused on Nature (FON), the Prince shares his passion and personal mission of conservation and the urgent need for more research and actionable initiatives on global issues negatively impacting the environment.
Glenbow’s exhibition from May 11-21, 2023, will feature a collection of his stunning photographs in large scale format. The exhibition is free and an opportunity that none of us should miss. It will be inspirational for everyone, and perhaps a turning point in many peoples lives when they see how the ocean is in danger of losing many of its species. It might even spur the youth to consider careers in oceanography. In any case, children as well as adults will be awed by Prince Hussain’s stunning underwater photographs.
Once again, this incredibly curated exhibition, The Living Sea – Fragile Beauty, is being held at the Glenbow at the Edison from May 11-21, 2023. It is FREE to attend. Please click Glenbow: The Living Sea to register.
Date posted: May 5, 2023.
ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER
From a young age, Prince Hussain Aga Khan developed a keen interest in conservation, tropical fish, reptiles and amphibians – and began scuba diving at 14. He started travelling to the tropics frequently after high school and began taking photographs of fauna and flora on a trip to the Brazilian Amazon in 1996.
Multiple photographic expeditions, often organized jointly with scientists or professional photographers, have led him to constitute extraordinary archives, covering various geographic areas and types of habitats. He has also captured many marine and terrestrial species.
His international exhibitions aim to inspire admiration for wildlife and the desire to protect it. Collections of Prince Hussain’s photographs have also been published in four books: Animal Voyage (2004), Diving into Wildlife (2015), Fragile Beauty (2022) and The Living Sea (2022). Proceeds from the sale of his books are donated, via Focused on Nature, to shark, cetacean or sea turtle conservation.