The unique display will be on view to everyone, 24 hours a day, in all weathers until Monday 2 December.
From dramatic shots of lifeboats battling fierce seas to candid portraits of the charity’s dedicated volunteer crew members, lifeguards and fundraisers, The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts exhibition showcases over 50 iconic images captured through the lens of RNLI lifeboat crew member and award-winning professional photographer Nigel Millard.
Nigel’s photos – the result of two years’ work – offer a unique eyewitness insight into the full scope of the RNLI’s lifesaving work. To capture the images, Nigel, who volunteers as a crew member at Torbay in Devon, visited RNLI lifeboat stations and lifeguard units around Ireland and the UK. At each lifeboat station, Nigel carried a pager and was alerted to callouts, along with the local crew, to capture the action first-hand. Nigel was on board the Baltimore lifeboat and captured the moment on camera when the racing yacht Rambler 100 capsized off the Fastnet in Cork and 16 crew were rescued off the upturned hull.
The exhibition is the first time that photographs of the RNLI’s work have been made available to the public in this way. Over the course of 7 months, as well as its run in Dublin it is appearing in locations including London, Southampton, Manchester, Edinburgh, Cardiff and Birmingham.
It features some of the most impressive photos from new book, The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts, published by Conway. The book is a celebration of the RNLI today. Written by Dr Huw Lewis-Jones the foreword has been contributed by HRH The Duke of Cambridge.
Nigel Millard says he hopes the images will give people a better understanding of the RNLI’s lifesaving work:
‘My favourite photo is a casualty’s eye view. I’ve been a man overboard on exercises – once in the water, you see nothing, then just a tiny bit of orange, and it’s not the sun, it’s a lifeboat. It epitomises the work I do, and the work of the RNLI.
‘I wanted the RNLI in Ireland to feature strongly in the book and accompanying exhibition. I worked with lifeboat crews around the country and also with the Irish Coast Guard, who regularly exercise with the lifeboat crews. There are some incredible shots in this exhibition including the Kilmore Quay and Rosslare lifeboats battling waves of the south east coast of Ireland.
‘I am very proud to see my work and the work of the RNLI volunteers on display in the centre of Dublin and I hope it will bring the work of the charity to a whole new audience. People who don’t know anything about rescue at sea will learn about it and know we’re here to help. Someone might even be inspired to volunteer – not necessarily on the crew, but maybe as a fundraiser. Or some might wish to donate.’
Author, Dr Huw Lewis-Jones, who accompanied Nigel on many of his photoshoots, says of the book and exhibition:
‘It’s a show of great photos that represent the best of the RNLI. It’s a way of reminding people that they are only ever a short journey from the sea – we may all need the RNLI’s help. We’ve joined crews all around Ireland and the UK on shouts, but also for a cup of tea. The photos are a collection of what the RNLI family means, the true spirit of the chairty – ordinary people doing extraordinary things.’
For those who can’t make it to the exhibition, an online version is also available at www.rnli.org/courageonourcoasts.
The outdoor exhibition prints, measuring 1750mm x 1170mm, are created with Epson's 64-inch (162.6cm) SureColor SC-S70600 large format printer. As leader in the photographic and fine art print markets, Epson’s technology produces high resolution and the widest colour gamut to ensure that Nigel’s photography is reproduced to the highest standard.
My Coast photography competition
In partnership with Epson, the charity is running a photography competition, My Coast, while the exhibition is touring. The charity is challenging photographers to capture what the varied and beautiful coasts mean to them. The winner will be given a large format print of an image of their choice from the Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts exhibition, signed by the photographer Nigel Millard, and a photo quality Epson colour printer.
A short-list of 10 entries will be selected by Nigel Millard. He will be looking for striking images that encapsulate the photographer’s experience of the coastlines and something of their relationship with the sea. The short-list will then go forward for a public vote on the RNLI’s Facebook page. The closing date is Monday 31 March 2014 and the winner will be notified by Monday 5 May 2014. Entries should be submitted by completing the online form at www.rnli.org.uk/mycoast and emailing images as a JPEG file to firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes to Editors
• Images are available for media use on request. Please contact the RNLI media contacts below to request copies. Photocall Ireland have photographed the exhibition for the RNLI in Grand Canal Sqaure.
• Nigel Millard is available for interview. Please contact RNLI PR on the details below to make arrangements.
• Book credit: The Lifeboat: Courage on our Coasts by Nigel Millard & Huw Lewis-Jones. Published by Conway - RRP €30/£25.
• Nigel Millard is an international photographer and a lifeboat crew member at Torbay in Devon. He is best known for his ongoing commissions for the Royal National Lifeboat Institution, for his special issue Royal Mail stamps, and for commissions for companies including Mercedes, Land Rover and Lloyds Bank. He has been working with the RNLI now for almost a decade. In 2010 Nigel was awarded an RNLI Supporter Award for his continued support.
• Dr Huw Lewis-Jones is a historian and editor with a PhD from the University of Cambridge. Huw was Curator at the National Maritime Museum and is now an award-winning author who writes and lectures widely about maritime history, exploration and the visual arts. His books include Arctic, Ocean Portraits, In Search of the South Pole, and Mountain Heroes, which won Adventure Book of the Year at the World ITB Awards in Germany.
RNLI media contacts
For more information please contact Niamh Stephenson RNLI Public Relations Manager Tel: 087 1254 124 / 01 8900 460 email Niamh_Stephenson@rnli.org or Nuala McAloon RNLI Press Officer Tel: 087 6483547 Nuala_McAloon@rnli.org