TAFA: The Textile and Fiber Art List

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand "Earth From Above" To Exhibit in New York

Algae in the Gulf of Morbihan, France. For more than a century, oyster farms have been the privileged sites for the introduction of exotic species. In the 1920s an epidemic decimated Crassostrea angulata, the most widely exploited oyster species in France. A Japanese species, Crassostrea gigas, was then introduced - and, involuntarily along with it, some thirty species of animals and algae that today live in the waters of the English Channel and the Atlantic Ocean. One example is the Sargasso (Sargassum muticum), a brown algae, seen here in the Gulf of Morbihan, where it has become a part of the local flora. [map] (© Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

A friend of mine sent me a link to this photo exhibit:
"Photographer Yann Arthus-Bertrand will bring his work back to the United States - to New York City for the first time in 2009. Aiming to inspire people to think globally about sustainable living, Arthus-Bertrand has been photographing unique views of our planet, seen from the sky, since 1994 - and has produced an exhibit of over 150 4-ft. by 6-ft. prints which will be on display in New York City at the World Financial Center Plaza and along the Battery Park City Esplanade from May 1, 2009 to June 28, 2009. When completed in New York City, the Earth From Above exhibit will also move on to California in 2010. Photographs and captions all courtesy of Yann Arthus-Bertrand."

The photos are absolutely stunning. Textures from above contrast with gorgeous colors and patterns, often showing the human impact on nature. Boston.com shows 38 photos from around the world, all looking down on our world with this photographer's bird's eye. You will not regret the visit!

Tea cultivation in Corrientes province, Argentina. The fertility of the red soil and the regular rains of the Corrientes region create the ideal conditions for the cultivation of tea. In an effort to protect the soil against erosion, tea is planted along curved terraces and protected from the wind by hedges. Unlike Asian and African countries, where the young sprouts are handpicked, in Argentina mechanical harvesting is the rule, done mainly with high-clearance tractors that are driven along the straight rows of tea bushes. [map] (© Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

Mountainous countryside near Maelifellssandur, Myrdalsjökull Region, Iceland. Once the young lava fields of Iceland cool down, life begins anew little by little. Ice, wind and water flatten and carve out shapes to begin with, then, during the summer, bacteria, lichen and fungi prepare the soil for plants, in particular mosses which adapt to an environment which remains difficult. These plants colonise the most favourable sites and terrain little by little, forming a new ecosystem. [map] (© Yann Arthus-Bertrand)

I went on over to Yann's website. As expected, more treasures await exploration. These photos are the result of years of work and a fascinating personal history. The website also has many tools available for educators and fun imaging tools like screen savers and posters. The message throughout is a clear cry for sustainable development and protection of earth's biodiversity. The bio below the photo is from the site. As I read the accomplishments of people like Yann, I am always filled with hope for our troubled world's future.

"Born in 1946, Yann Arthus-Bertrand has always been fond of nature. It was in the late 70s, in Kenya, while studying with his wife Anne the every day life of a pride of lions that, that he truly became a photographer. He understood that he had to tell the facts through images rather than words. He also discovered the beauty of the world seen from above when he became a hot air balloon pilot and began experimenting aerial photography. Upon his return to France, he published in 1981 his first book Lions, first release of a series of 80 books. He also began a career as a reporter-photographer and closely worked with various naturalists including Dian Fossey and her mountain gorillas in Rwanda. His work was published in many internationally known magazines such as Paris Match, Geo, Life or National Geographic.

In 1991, he created Altitude, the first photo agency specialized in aerial photography.
In the 90s, under the patronage of UNESCO, he embarked upon his most ambitious project: creating an image bank of the earth seen from above. Yann’s aim was to create a record of the world’s environment for present and future generations. In 1999, his work was published and The Earth from Above, translated in 24 languages, became one of the best selling illustrated books with more than three million copies sold worldwide. The Earth from Above is also an open-air free access exhibition that travels in more than 100 cities around the world and has attracted to this date over 100 million visitors. But it is still a work in progress. Many countries remain to be visited, and geographical coordinates of every shot will allow other photographers and scientists to locate and document the evolution of these sites.

At the same time, Yann Arthus-Bertrand carries on with the systematic inventory of house pets and domestic breeds, photographing the animals in the studio or outdoors against a canvas backdrop.
In 2003 he launched "Six Billion Others". Cameramen travel the world to meet and interview people as a mean to portray the planet under a humanistic angle. To date more than 4.000 interviews have been filmed in more than 65 countries. In 2005 Yann Arthus-Bertrand created GoodPlanet, a non-profit organization which is dedicated to the promotion of sustainable development, his leitmotiv, through all his different projects. Yann would like to enable each and every one of us to become a custodian of our planet’s future and consequently of our own future. He also directed a series of four, two hour documentaries entitled Earth From Above – which was shown on French television in 2006-2007 –, and started this year the production of a feature length film on the state of the global environment and the challenges we are facing."



  1. Ah, the advantages of living an hour or so from NYC. I will put this show on my calendar right now. What gorgeous photos! Thank you for letting us know about this. :-)

  2. Looks like this will be an incredible show. I've always been fascinated with aerial photography....or even looking out an airplane window. We should all take advantage of seeing the world differently whenever we can.

    I particularly enjoyed the photo of Iceland. I'm sure you've been closely following the financial events of that country too....


“Sing like no one's listening, love like you've never been hurt, dance like nobody's watching, and live like it's heaven on earth.”

“Whatever you say, say it with conviction.”

(Both by the master, Mark Twain)

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