Savages

Upon reflection on his time growing up in Australia's last stronghold for commercial whaling and on his memory of our behavior towards sharks at the time, prolific Australian author and journalist of the Australian subconsciousness, Tim Winton described humans as "savages". In the decades since, our attitudes towards this handful of marine predator species has not seen much improvement. At the very foundation of Australian cultural vernacular and consciousness, sharks maintain a large presence yet this perceived risk is not met by any tangible one and nation wide "mitigation strategies" are continuing to threaten the balance of marine ecosystems for the sake of "maintaining beach safety".

This long-term body of work considers Australians' relationship with sharks and the intricacies of our association with a seemingly omnipresent terror - a shadow that has lingered in Australian culture since colonization. But amidst an evolving discourse on shark conservation, our concern for the ongoing survival of these animals is growing - from both an anthropocentric and an ecological standpoint. Shark attack "survivors" and their families now more often than not represent the most vocal advocates of shark conservation.