Nick Brandt – The Day May Break + SINK / RISE

03 February to 29 May 2024


The Day May Break + SINK / RISE by photographer Nick Brandt is an ongoing global series portraying people and animals that have been impacted by environmental degradation and destruction.

Chapter One was photographed in Zimbabwe and Kenya in 2020, Chapter Two in Bolivia in 2022. SINK / RISE, Chapter Three was photographed in Fiji in 2023.

The people in the photos have all been badly affected by climate change, from extreme droughts to floods that destroyed their homes and livelihoods.

SINK / RISE is the third chapter of The Day May Break, an ongoing global series portraying people and animals that have been impacted by environmental degradation and destruction.

This third chapter focuses on South Pacific Islanders impacted by rising oceans from climate change.

The local people in these photos, photographed underwater in the ocean off the coast of the Fijian islands, are representatives of the many people whose homes, land and livelihoods will be lost in the coming decades as the water rises.

Everything is shot in-camera underwater.

Nick Brandt is an artist and witness who seizes bleak and desperate fates, and by some mystery and alchemy, transmutes these into a gesture of poignant and painful beauty.

It has been an eon, and then some, since I experienced contemporary photographs of people of African roots created by a person of Euro-American origin, that were this tender, human and gorgeous.

— Yvonne Adhiambo Owuor, from the Foreword to The Day May Break, Author of Dust and The Dragonfly Sea.

The environmental threat to life on this planet – both human and animal – is realized by Nick Brandt in The Day May Break to devastating effect in these powerful yet tender portraits. Art of this calibre is in a unique position to challenge and engage audiences in environmental conversation.

– Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and Climate Change, Chair of The Elders.

A landmark body of work by one of photography’s great environmental champions. Showing how deeply our fates are intertwined, Brandt portrays people and animals together, causing us to reflect on the real-life consequences of climate change. Channeling his outrage into quiet determination, the result is a portrait of us all, at a critical moment in the Anthropocene.”

— Phillip Prodger, Curator, Author, Photography historian, former Head of Photographs at the National Portrait Gallery, London.

Installation photography © Maria Verdugo

Ben and his Father Viti, Fiji, 2023 © Nick Brandt


Related Videos:



Exhibition Catalogue:

Fatuma, Ali & Bupa, Kenya, The Day May Break, 2020 Nick Brandt
Halima, Abdul and Frida, Kenya, 2020 © Nick Brandt