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Nick Brandt’s “SINK / RISE” at Atlas Gallery: A Profound Dive into Environmental Realities



By Richard Bram

In the heart of London’s Marylebone, the Atlas Gallery stands as a beacon for fine art photography enthusiasts. Over the years, it has showcased works from some of the world’s most renowned photographers, and this year, it proudly presents Nick Brandt’s latest series, “SINK / RISE”. This exhibition, like the gallery itself, is a testament to the power of photography to evoke emotions, tell stories, and inspire change.

The Exhibition: “SINK / RISE”

“SINK / RISE” is the third chapter of Brandt’s ongoing series, “The Day May Break”, which portrays people and animals impacted by environmental degradation and destruction. This chapter is particularly poignant, focusing on South Pacific Islanders grappling with the devastating effects of climate change, especially rising ocean levels.

The images are hauntingly beautiful. Local individuals, captured underwater off the coast of the Fijian islands, serve as a stark reminder of the impending reality many island nations face. These individuals symbolize the countless people who, in the coming decades, stand to lose their homes, lands, and livelihoods to the encroaching waters. The fact that all shots were taken in-camera underwater adds a layer of authenticity and rawness to the series.

But beyond the immediate visual impact, Brandt’s work delves deeper, asking pressing questions: How did we get here? What does the future hold for these communities? And most importantly, what can we do to mitigate, if not reverse, the damage?

The Photographer: Nick Brandt

Nick Brandt is no stranger to addressing pressing environmental issues through his lens. His photography has consistently highlighted humanity’s impact on the natural world. From the majestic landscapes of Africa to the intimate portraits of its wildlife, Brandt’s earlier works have always been a blend of artistry and activism.

With “SINK / RISE”, Brandt takes a slightly different approach. While his commitment to environmental issues remains unwavering, this series introduces a more direct human element. By focusing on the South Pacific Islanders, Brandt bridges the often abstract concept of climate change with tangible human stories. It’s a reminder that behind every statistic about rising sea levels, there’s a human face and a story waiting to be told.

Brandt’s journey, from his earlier works like “On This Earth” and “A Shadow Falls” to his latest series, showcases his evolution as an artist and an environmentalist. His consistent theme, however, remains the same: a deep love for the natural world and a plea for its preservation.

The Gallery: Atlas Gallery

Nestled in the heart of London, the Atlas Gallery has long been a hub for photographic excellence. Since its inception, the gallery has been committed to showcasing works that not only demonstrate artistic brilliance but also push boundaries and challenge conventions.

The gallery’s choice to host Brandt’s “SINK / RISE” is in line with its tradition of presenting works that are both visually stunning and thematically significant. Over the years, Atlas Gallery has hosted a plethora of exhibitions, each unique in its essence but united in its commitment to excellence in photography.

For many art enthusiasts and critics, a visit to the Atlas Gallery is more than just an opportunity to view photographs. It’s a chance to embark on a journey, to explore diverse themes, and to engage in meaningful dialogues. The gallery’s minimalist design ensures that the focus remains solely on the art, allowing visitors to immerse themselves fully in the experience.

In hosting “SINK / RISE”, the Atlas Gallery once again reaffirms its position as a leading space for thought-provoking photographic art. It’s a space where art, activism, and awareness converge, offering visitors a chance to reflect, learn, and hopefully, act.


Nick Brandt’s “SINK / RISE” at the Atlas Gallery is more than just an exhibition; it’s a clarion call for awareness and action. In a world increasingly plagued by environmental challenges, works like these serve as a poignant reminder of the stakes. As visitors walk through the gallery, taking in each image, the hope is that they leave not just with a sense of admiration for Brandt’s artistry but also with a renewed commitment to protecting our planet and its inhabitants.