Some of Nick Brandt’s subjects are humans, some are animals, but they all are creatures of equal and obvious personhood. The overwhelming sense in the photographer’s ongoing global series The Day May Break is that they are all figuring out how to live in a new world. Each has arrived at the shoot at Senda Verde wildlife sanctuary in Bolivia through their own cascade of tragedy. Both extreme droughts and floods have destroyed people’s homes and livelihoods. Victims of habitat destruction and wildlife trafficking, the animals are rescues that can never be released to the wild. People and animals were photographed in the same frame and indeed convey a sense of connectedness through a shared fate. Fog is the unifying visual, symbolic of the natural world rapidly fading from view; and an echo of the smoke from wildfires, intensified by climate change, devastating so much of the planet. But in spite of their loss, these people and animals are survivors, pioneers entering the new phase our world has reached. In The Day May Break they share their powerful stories.
NICK BRANDT (b.1964, London) studied painting and film at St. Martin’s School of Art, London. In 1992 he moved to California, where he still lives today. Since 2001, he has documented the destructive impact that humankind is having on the natural world and, as a result, on humans themselves. Chapter One of his seminal series The Day May Break featured photographs taken in Zimbabwe and Kenya in late 2020. Chapter Two, shot in Bolivia in 2022, is the first time in his 20 year career that Brandt has made work outside of Africa.