Civic pride comes in all shapes and sizes. And as of June 11, it’s in the form of metal prints with Tony Rath’s new photography gallery — a three-year long project of vetting near-250,000 images to the select 125 featured within. With over 30 years experience photographing Belize, renowned photo-journalist and photographer Tony Rath‘s new body of work pays tribute to Belize’s nooks and crannies, arranged by land, sea, air, underwater and underground.
Amassing a huge archive of both slide and digital images, find special displays each with a story to tell: the sextant Rath used to navigate while sailing; his very first camera; the evolution of his underwater cameras; old caving lights that used fire instead of batteries and a saddle captured from Guatemala poachers.
“The hardest part was selecting the images,” says Rath. “I initially edited the selection down to 1000 images, then hosted a group of 6 artists over a weekend to help rank the photos on a scale of 1 (best) to 5 (worst). Unfortunately, almost every image had both 1s and 5s, so I was back to making the final selection myself”.
All images within Tony Rath’s new gallery are printed on metal, representing a new medium for art display: images are infused into the surface versus printed on top. Dyes are infused directly into the specially coated aluminum sheets which—with proper care—will last indefinitely.
The exhibition is now open at Pelican Beach Resort in Dangriga, Belize.
Based in the coastal town of Dangriga in Southern Belize, Tony Rath is a professional photographer and trained marine biologist, with works as a diver and underwater photographer for the Smithsonian Institution; underwater aid on oil rigs off California; and sailed across the Atlantic Ocean (twice), as well as through the Mediterranean and North Seas. Tony first visited Belize in 1979 and moved there permanently in 1988. Since then he has explored and photographed most of Belize by land, sea and air.
“I strive to promote knowledge and understanding about and appreciation for the natural history and resources of Belize through my images and writings,” says Rath in his mission statement. “By forming alliances with Belizean NGOs, I strive to create leverage for their conservation efforts and provide imagery for their educational, marketing and public relations purposes.”