British Petroleum’s environmental scheme

A secondary school exhibition display on farming


In the atrium of the BP Building in Trinidad and Tobago, in front of Jacki Hinkson’s mural, an exhibition is set up in a typical fashion. Plinths are covered with a black mat tarp and from a quarter off the floor, a decorative pattern runs along the edge. Distracting as this may be, it is also cluttered with matted photographs. These are the photography winners from the BP competition on the theme of the Energy for Life in Trinidad and Tobago.

But one wonders if truly the winners reflected particularity on the theme. The photographs encompassed images found in farming and the natural environment. These included animals, details of flowers, birds and photographs capturing the sun as the source of life, perfectly composed in the centre of the photograph and not neglecting the flare off some individual. Some photos looked doctored and others seemed staged including the first prize winner, Ronald Chung with his photograph of a farmer sprinkling beads of water on a plant. Second and third place winners captured Pigeon Point at dust and a child running with a fish, respectively. The winner of the amateur level, Brian Batholomew snapped a candid portrait of children and the overall photograph attempted to reproduce a Karen Sylvester moment with light permeating through a bamboo patch. images quite apt for an annual report cover and for their archive of over 500 submissions to which they have the rights to.

This exhibition could have been reduced to only five pieces, and the winner should have deservedly been awarded to Mr. Batholomew for the warmth and human element from his work. Otherwise, the exhibition showed an overwhelming degree of literal meaning, void by the theme itself, Energy for Life, and the pun on Energy/ BP/TT was never explored. Photographs were reduced to clichés and photographers romanticized the notion that all is well in this never ending flow of oil in picture-perfect-moments. BPTT Photographic exhibition at the atrium of the BP Building, Port of Spain runs till 29 July, 2007.

Fuel of the future: Hydrogen /Water. And when the oil reserves are depleted, the island will sustain it self with the abundance of hydro-liquid called, We Sea.

thebookmann All Rights Reserved 2007

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