Having lived in Brighton a fair few months, it seemed almost criminal that I hadn't been down to The Brighton Sea Life Centre, the oldest operating aquarium in the WORLD. So when the chance to witness the first ever underwater photography exhibition arose, I decided to dive right in (sorry).
Celebrations Of The Sea, which features portraits of professionals whose lives are dominated by the ocean, and is sponsored by John West, is the first exhibit of its kind, and opened in the Victorian aquarium, which has been fully operating in Brighton since 1872.
The portraits are displayed in tanks occupied by various sea creatures, and were produced by acclaimed marine photographer Kate Westaway, who has photographed marine life across the world, and notably Angelina Jolie, during the filming for Tomb Raider.
The first thing I notice when entering the aquarium, is just how beautiful the architecture is; the typical Victorian design, with its wrought iron supports twisted into beautiful shapes and the incredibly high ceilings, provide a beautiful backdrop for this incredible attraction, and ultimately a perfect choice for the opening of such a unique exhibition.
In the main hall, the tanks run parallel to each other, all holding various marine life that demand some 'oohs' and 'ahhs', and sporadically dotted around are the portraits of the personalities and celebrities featured in the exhibit.
The subjects of the photos were shot under water and bear reference to their profession, such as TV chef Mitch Tonks, with his catch of fish on his shoulder, and UK surfing champion Tassy Swallow, surfing beneath the waves. The photos are brilliant, and look almost creepy suspended in the water surrounded by catfish, crabs and eels.
Although there isn't any visible signing to the exhibit, which could possibly make an unknowing witness to the display a bit confused as to what they are about, it is pretty difficult not to notice the photographs, and after trying to take pictures of the photos in their tanks, I have nothing but respect for the quality of the images, as mine didn't turn out all that great!
All in all, I don't know why I didn't go sooner- the aquarium was incredible (the giant turtles and the sharks are a must) and the added extra of seeing a world-renowned photographer's work, displayed for the very first time, made it an especially fantastic visit.