See through the eyes of a zookeeper at The Deep

Published: Tuesday 2nd May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Find out what life is really like for those who work in zoos and aquariums across the country at The Deep’s latest marine art exhibition.

The National Zoo Photography Awards are held annually by the British and Irish Association of Zoos and Aquariums (BIAZA). This year, a collection of the best images are on display at Hull’s submarium until Thursday 30 June.

“The entries are not usually displayed to the public,” Suzy Rowe, Marketing and Curatorial Coordinator at The Deep, tells us.

“But this year The Deep is hosting the annual BIAZA Conference. With it coinciding with Hull UK City of Culture, we wanted to do something special.”

The exhibition is one of six marine art displays on show at the aquarium throughout 2017. Earlier this year we saw Mandy Barker’s plastic debris photography, as well as the interesting work of Chris Dobrowolski and his Washed Up Car-go.

Each year BIAZA opens up a photography competition to all of their staff and volunteers. These passionate people work with animals each day, meaning that they get a unique perspective.

“The photography competition is a great way to get an insight into rare animals’ lives,” Suzy explains.

“Zoo and aquarium staff get to see their natural behaviours and know their personalities. This makes for really interesting photos.”

The exhibition features favourites from 2010 onwards, with this year’s winners being announced at the conference that runs Tuesday 16 until Thursday 18 May.

The competition is also a great way of getting zoo staff from around the country involved in BIAZA.

“Zoo staff are usually a very artistic bunch. They work with their hands on a daily basis and can be quite creative,” Suzy continues.

“It’s a really good opportunity for them to showcase their talents outside of their work.”

James Denman, Senior Aquarist at The Deep, submitted his image ‘Golden’ last year (pictured above).

He won the Endangered Species category with this stunning photo of the critically endangered golden mantella frog. The preservation of this species is helped by The Deep’s captive breeding population.

James is thrilled to have his work on show at this year’s exhibition: “It’s exciting to see my photography displayed in the town I call home, especially at The Deep, where I’ve worked for the past ten years.”

“I thoroughly enjoy capturing unique moments of the animals that I help to look after. I’m truly humbled that my photo was chosen by BIAZA as one of the winners.”


The exhibition showcases a range of subject matter and styles

The art also functions as an excellent conservation tool: “It’s a great way to highlight endangered species, as well as show off some of their unique characteristics,” Suzy points out.

“Individuals can submit a photograph of any creature, as long it’s in the zoo that they work at, or relates to a conservation project that they are working on.”

You can view the images for yourself at The Deep until Thursday 30 June. Entry to the gallery comes free with a ticket to the submarium. To find out more, visit

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Published: Tuesday 2nd May 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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