The Deep's 3rd floor gallery will play home to a thought provoking series of artworks in 2017, all with a marine theme.

Every two months throughout 2017 The Deep will be showcasing pieces from some of our favourite artists. 

MANDY BARKER (on show January and February)

Mandy Barker is a photographic artist whose work involving marine plastic debris has received global recognition. The motivation for her work is to raise awareness about plastic pollution in the world's oceans whilst highlighting the harmful effect on marine life and ultimately ourselves.

Her series, SOUP, has been published in over 25 countries including TIME, Smithsonian, The Guardian, GEO and National Geographic. Barker has exhibited internationally including at FotoFest Biennale 2016: 'Changing Circumstances - Looking at the Future of the Planet’, United States, Singapore International Photography Festival, and Unseen 2016, Amsterdam.

In 2012 she was awarded the Royal Photographic Society Environmental Bursary to cross the Pacific Ocean as part of a marine plastic debris research expedition. She has received many awards and nominations including as a winner of the LensCulture Earth Award 2015, and winner of the International Photography Award 2014 - Environmental Editorial. Barker has also, this year, been shortlisted  for the prestigious Prix Pictet Award 2017, the world's leading photographic award in sustainability.

Born in Hull Mandy attended Kelvin Hall Senior High School, going on to study the Art Foundation Course at Hull College. More recently she has studied Photography and Digital Imaging at Hull College, Harrogate Campus. Following this she went on to study MA Photography at De Montfort University graduating in 2011. 

Her work came about initially from visits to Spurn Point near Hull and is now recognised around the world.

To see more of Mandy's work, please click here.

NICK ONEILL (on show March and April)

Nick is a British artist who specialises in contemporary marine and wildlife art.

Growing up among a family of divers, his passion for the sea and its creatures grew during holidays to destinations by the Red Sea, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic and Indian Oceans.

Nick's first diving adventures took place at an early age, allowing him to experience first-hand the vibrancy and amazing textures of the magnificent fish. Although he had been snorkelling for years already, learning to scuba dive at age 11 allowed Nick to experience the unique effects of light streaming through water and the changes in colours when in deep water.

Nick's experience and artistic talent allowed him to develop a unique style of painting, which combines the technique of using pure colour on a dark background, as invented by the 16th century Venetian artist, Giorgione with the vibrant colours and truth to nature practiced by the 19th century Pre-Raphaelite artists, like William Holman Hunt.

Although Nick is most well-known for his marine life work on his signature black backgrounds, in recent years Nick has expanded his focus to incorporate metals and high gloss resin adding new textures finishes. Nick used these new materials to bring the sea to life in new and exciting ways not seen before in the art world, such as his new "split level" water effect.

Nick's stunning works have been highly acclaimed by collectors and the Press, appearing in Sport Diver magazine, Marlin and Crest magazine. He has been selected as a finalist in the International Wildlife Artist of the Year Competition every year since 2010, winning the "Into the Blue" category in 2016.

to see more of Nicks work, please click here.


Each year the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA) holds an annual photography competition – The National Zoo Photography Awards.

Dozens of entries are submitted with shots conveying life within a BIAZA collection, work behind the scenes and wildlife in the wild in connection with the zoo or aquariums conservation work.

The competition is open to all staff and volunteers within BIAZA collections. Working with animals provides a unique opportunity to really get to know individuals and offers the chance to capture some truly amazing moments. Keepers and aquarists hold many hidden talents, often being skilled artists and photographers. This competition allows them to show off their creative flare and showcase a remarkable relationship.

This collection of images celebrates the wide array of species in our care, their quirky characteristics and the dedicatedces in animal husbandry, BIAZA is a conservation, education and wildlife charity that supports its members to share expertise and best practice with the aim of continuously improving standards. 

Today, modern zoological establishments are much more than visitor attractions. Over 100 zoos and aquariums proudly display the BIAZA logo and are committed to having the highest levels of animal welfare. They participate in conservation projects, their discovery and learning programmes are continuously being developed, and they actively contribute to a body of research that will, ultimately, help us to conserve species in the wild.  

To learn more about BIAZA, please click here.

Charity number: 248553

NICK HUNT (on show July and August)

Nick has a real passion for photography, both above water and below. After leaving a corporate career in 2008 he began travelling around the world for 2 years but now resides in South East Asia working as an underwater photographer.

Having grown up in Hull he now lives in Koh Lanta, Krabi, Thailand working between seasons in Thailand (Nov – April) and Indonesia (May – Oct).

Since making the decision to leave the UK, he has crossed many continents, visited a number of places and dived many oceans.  As well as exploring the underwater world he has enjoyed his time exploring new countries, cultures and meeting new people from many backgrounds.

He has a real passion for sharing his knowledge and experience amongst his students and jointly with his photographic skills has provided an experience of a lifetime with memories to last.

You can find out more about Nick and view his galleries here.

ERNST HAECKEL (on show September and October)

Haeckel was a German Biologist, Naturalist and Artist who discovered and named thousands of new species. In 1899 he began to publish a series of extraordinary images that changed the way we viewed the relationship between Art and Science.

100 of his images were put together to create 10 volumes of Art Forms of Nature. Many of the organisms included within these collections were first described and classified by Haeckel himself. This stunning combination remains, to this day, an astounding record of life on earth.

The subjects of each lithographic plate were carefully selected so that they would encapsulate the organisation of organisms. Haeckel was no stay at home biologist. Throughout his lengthy career he discovered 150 new species of simple organisms called Radiolarians.

Between 1859 and 1887 he described several thousand more new species. He also coined many biological terms that we use today – phylogeny, phylum and stem cell – the most notable being the word ecology.

These images have been reproduced with the kind permission of the ZSL (Zoological Society of London) Library, which houses a wide range of modern and historic books on the subjects of animals and their conservation, along with a huge catalogue of journals and magazines, the ZSL archives, zoo-related ephemera and unique artworks. Founded in 1826, ZSL is an international scientific, conservation and educational charity whose mission is to promote and achieve the worldwide conservation of animals and their habitats.

You can explore their collections by using their online catalogue here, reading their monthly blog here or visiting the ZSL Library, which is open to the public. 

ALEXANDER REICHARDT (on November and December)

Alexander Reichardt is an artist and designer whose unique creativity reflects his life-long relationship with the sea and especially of the Aegean. He has travelled widely throughout the Mediterranean world and has lived for many years on the Cycladic island of Naxos where, with his wife, the celebrated potter Katharina Bolesch, he has established the internationally acclaimed Fish & Olive gallery in the ancient village of Halki.

Reichardt's compelling imagery is based strongly on the motif of the fish as the all-encompassing symbol of the sea and its fruitfulness. His exquisite fish designs feature on the ceramic and porcelain work of Bolesch and are incorporated into artefacts of luminous beauty that include silver jewellery, Naxian marble, brass, wood, and lithographs.

From his earliest years, Alexander Reichardt has engaged with the sea in every way and most intensely through scuba diving, a pursuit that has invested his art with its unique aesthetic. Such close engagement has also imbued him with a profound sympathy for the marine environment in general and his engagement with marine conservation is expressed through his close association with the Cousteau Divers.

Thus, respect for the sea, for its beauty and its danger, defines Alexander Reichardt's aesthetic and ethical view of the marine environment. He believes that the rich diversity of the Mediterranean that has captivated him from his earliest years has been greatly diminished in his own lifetime. His artistry and his beautiful images are a celebration of that diversity and reflect also a powerful plea for its recovery and restoration.

Find out more and view Alexander's pieces here


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