A thirsty lioness, a low-spirited sun bear, a Bengal tiger and hauntingly curious red fox are among the 100 award-winning images in the 54th Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition.
The world-renowned exhibition, on loan from the Natural History Museum in London, will open at the National Wool Museum on the 22nd of this month – featuring exceptional images which capture fascinating animal behaviour, spectacular species and the breathtaking diversity of the natural world.
For over 50 years now, Wildlife Photographer of the Year – the most prestigious photography event of its kind – has been providing a global platform that showcases the natural world’s most astonishing and challenging sights. Launching in 1965 and attracting 361 entries, today the competition receives almost 50,000 entries from professionals and amateurs in 95 countries, highlighting its enduring appeal.
This year’s 100 award-winning images – awarded for their creativity, originality and technical excellence – include photographs taken by Australian photographers: Georgina Steytler (Winner, Behaviour: Invertebrates) category, alongside David Gallan, Justin Gilligan, Wayne Jones and Robert Irwin (son of “crocodile hunter”, Steve Irwin), who all received Highly Commended awards.
The king of the jungle however proved to be Dutch photographer Marsel van Oosten who won the competition after capturing a pair of endangered Qinling golden snub-nosed moneys. With age not a factor in this competition, it was then 16-year-old South African Skye Meaker who took out the Young Wildlife Photographer of the Year award with an adorable yet vulnerable photo of a lounging leopard.
Running until July 14, this annual showcase is truly something to see with the world’s best nature photography and wildlife photojournalism and its ability to capture extraordinary animal behaviour and the breathtaking diversity of life of Earth.
“The National Wool Museum has hosted Wildlife Photographer of the Year since 2014 and we are delighted that this world class exhibition is returning once again in 2019, with an entirely new selection of images,” says Padraic Fisher, director at the National Wool Museum. “As the only place in Victoria hosting the exhibition, visitors to the National Wool Museum will be delighted and challenged by these exquisite photographs of the natural world.”
As consistently one of the most successful touring exhibitions, enjoyed by millions every year, the images tell thought-provoking stories about our planet that prompt us all to think differently about the natural world and the future we want to create.
It’s natural, it’s beautiful and it’s confronting… and this year the team at The National Wool Museum are helping to make it an experience to remember by hosting a cocktail party in honour of the exhibition’s arrival.
Coined the Wild Cocktail Party, this after dark party will be fuelled by the sound of electro beats and exclusive signature cocktails from the esteemed 18th Amendment Bar in the upstairs area of Geelong’s iconic Wool Museum.
Hailing from Melbourne, brothers James and Peter Isaac (creating music as DJ duo Donald’s House) will be spinning dance floor fillers all night for all the party animals in the room.
Taking influence from Paradise Garage styled disco, early 90s house, italo and anything with a DMX drum kit, their take on dance dance music is as refreshing as it is familiar. You’ll often hear M1 solos, chords and stabs, juxtaposed against Phil Collins styled stadium drums, and groovy basslines that just beg your body to move.
They dropped their EP ‘Dan’s Dancing EP’ late last year and have been on the rise ever since. A family affair with their own productions and body music for your Friday night, these guys will have the party going wild!
While the music is enough to get us there, your ticket will also grant you a welcome ‘wild inspired’ cocktail on arrival AND entry into Wildlife Photographer of the Year 54 exhibition – meaning guests become one of the first to experience this exhibition in the most unique of ways.
But of course, what would a party be without an epic theme?!
In line with the Wildlife Photographer exhibition, the dress code is ‘Go Wild’. So, think zebra patterns, floral inspirations, totem animals, flamingo printed shirts, Meerkat bow ties… just go wild and get creative; you’ve still got 14 days to construct your best wild inspired outfit. This one is a classy event though, so we’d recommend against rocking up in those leopard print budgie smugglers (as funny as it would be).
Instantly giving the party an instant boost of unique energy, this ‘wild’ theme will not only see guests indulge in the pre-outfit bonding sessions leading up to the party (we started talking about ours about a month ago), but once your group is all dressed up, you can show off your amazing creativity and sense of humour by taking a thousand photos… Plus we all know you’re going to post them all on Instagram the next morning with the perfectly thought out caption punning your outfit.
While there will be nibbles to see you through the event, partnering with Denny’s Kitchen means you’ll have the ability to order something more substantial if you’re feeling it.
Go on, be amongst the first to experience 100 of the world’s most extraordinary photographs, while you sip on delectable cocktails and dance to electro beats in your classiest wildlife outfits this month.
Afterall, you’ve really got nothing to lose and the world to see.
It all goes down on Friday March 29 from 6:30pm to 9:30pm at the National Wool Museum (26 Moorabool Street, Geelong). Tickets can be purchased via Eventbrite.
The Wild Cocktail Party is a collaboration between the National Wool Museum, Dennys Kitchen, The 18th Amendment Bar and Forte Magazine.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year is developed and produced by the Natural History Museum, London.
FEATURE PHOTO CREDIT: ®Isak Pretorius – Wildlife Photographer of the Year