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Posted by portugalpress on September 06, 2015

The São José Convent in Lagoa welcomes next Tuesday, September 8th, an exhibition by Artur Pastor, probably one of the most prolific Portuguese photographers of all time, whose work easily matches masters such as Brasilian Sebastião Salgado, or French Henri Cartier-Bresson.

Entitled «The Algarve of Artur Pastor» (O Algarve de Artur Pastor), the exhibition features a selection of photos that portrait the region and its traditions, crafts, people and way of living mainly during the 1940-1960s.

Part of the second edition of the Photographic Encounters of Lagoa (Encontros de Fotografia de Lagoa) - a project which began as a simple photo competition and now encompasses several different events - the display is divided into three different sections.

The main section shows 61 pictures now belonging to Lisbon's Municipal Archive, the actual owner of Artur Pastor’s legacy. Most are the time-aged original prints. The second section displays 37 rare postcards of the Algarve, which the photographer published himself throughout the 1940s; and a never-before-seen full colour set pictures of the Algarve's west coast which he did during the 1980/90’s before his death.

According to Nuno Loureiro, teacher at the Algarve University and director of the Photographic Encounters of Lagoa, the show “is very targeted both at locals and foreigners who live here and want to find out a lot more about the region from a cultural point of view”.

Loureiro, who worked on the exhibition for almost a year, in collaboration with Lisbon's Municipal Archive, explained to the Resident that he decided to focus on the 1940-60s timeline, “the real Algarve just as used to be”.

“Pastor was a realistic photographer who was very close to people. Today, it seems we forgot how very humble the Algarve used to be, not that it was an unhappy place to live in any way. Most of the pictures clearly show a certain joie de vivre”.

Unveiling the Algarve history «is an approach we want to keep developing» for the next editions of the Photographic Encounters of Lagoa.

The Resident knows that Loureiro is working to bring a series of documental photos taken in the 60’s by a British photographer of excellent quality and as yet unseen.

Artur Pastor (1922 – 1999), was born in Alter do Chão, in the Alentejo. He felt deeply in love with the Algarve when he was drafted to the Portuguese Army headquarters in Tavira, in the early 1940’s.

Aged 24, he organised a photo exhibition in Faro of his own in 1946, entitled Motivos do Sul (Southern Motifs), with nearly 300 pictures. There has never been another large show featuring his passionate work in the Algarve since.

Speaking to Barlavento newspaper, the photographer's son, also named Artur after his father, stressed: “he was fascinated with the sea and he photographed the Algarve extensively.”

Now this incredibly legacy will be on display in Lagoa (free of charge) until March 31st, 2016.

By Bruno Filipe Pires
bruno.pires@open-media.net

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