Amazonia Exhibition by Sebastian Salgado

It has been a long time since my last visit to a photographic exhibition, the pandemic having put a hold on many excursions, therefore I was a little more than excited to hear about Sebastian Salgado’s exhibition Amazonia showing at the Manchester Science and Industry Museum.

Sebastian Salgado is one of the many photographers who I have followed for years, his images are powerful, breathtaking and distinctive.  This current exhibition is a culmination of 7 years traversing deep into the Amazon forest to document and raise awareness of the fragility of the landscape and cultures of the indigenous tribes within.  

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Lelia Wanick Salgado has curated over 200 images in different formats and sizes and designed the layout to give an enveloping feeling of being within the forest. Inside the heart of the displays are further enclaves reflecting the housing of the indigenous tribes that detail images of the people and their cultures.
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No stranger to shooting in colour, Sebastian Salgado is better known for his propensity for black & white photography, Amazonia is astonishing not only in it’s size and depth of study but the fact it is all in monochrome, one would expect so much of the forest and its people would be lost without colour, especially as the text accompanying some of the photographs describe the colours adorning the bodies of the indigenous people but far from it the monochromatic imagery gives an intensely concentrated focus to the images, if there were colour present it would feel chaotic and lost.
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Apart from being mind blown by the sheer scale of the exhibition, it is laid out in such a fashion that reflects the nature of being in the forest and has deliberately been left with no clear direction how to traverse through the show, much like being in the forest is left for the viewer to navigate their own way around.
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The whole exhibition is accompanied to music by the french artist Jean-Michel Jarre, a name I haven’t heard for over 30 years and there are also 2 projection theatres showing sequences of different images.

The exhibition is worth several hours of viewing and for me I do plan on a return visit as it so much to take in.

The exhibition is free and available to see until the 22nd August 2022, you can prebook your tickets here: Amazonia Science and Industry Museum Manchester

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