Sebastiao Salgado's critically acclaimed Amazonia exhibition opens at the Science and Industry Museum

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Sebastiao Salgado's critically acclaimed Amazonia exhibition opens at the Science and Industry Museum
Sebastiao Salgado's Amazonia exhibition at the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester. Credit Science Museum Group © The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum.

MANCHESTER.- The Science and Industry Museum welcomes a critically acclaimed major exhibition exploring the work of world-renowned Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado – Amazônia, with free tickets available now for its 12-week run.

This is his first UK exhibition of this scale outside London for over 20 years and the first to ever to come to Manchester. Amazônia celebrates the indigenous peoples and breath-taking landscapes of the Brazilian rainforest – through over 200 black and white images and interviews with indigenous leaders; accompanied by a specially commissioned immersive soundtrack from acclaimed French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, which brings to life the sounds of the rainforest.

For seven years Salgado worked in the Amazon with twelve different indigenous communities. The result is an incredible collection of powerful photographs that present Salgado’s vision of a forest that is approaching a crucial tipping point in the fight against climate change.

The exhibition was curated and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado to convey a small part of the magic of the Amazon region and its native peoples in an intimate experience. Where visitors will be transported to the Amazon rainforest surrounded by Jean-Michel Jarre’s musical creation evoking the sounds of the forest around them – including the rustling of trees, the cries of animals, bird song and the roar of water tumbling from mountain peaks.

Described by the Daily Telegraph as ‘An awe-inspiring celebration of life on Earth’ - Amazônia offers the opportunity to see this unique environment through the lens of one of the most eminent photographers working today.

Journey through a forest of suspended photographs capturing the incredible vistas of the Amazon – delving into dramatic panoramas, sweeping aerial shots of immense waterfalls and stormy skies. Discover ‘flying rivers’, a natural phenomenon whereby trees transport large quantities of water vapour into the atmosphere, that create a cycle that supplies crucial water to the wider region.

Learn about the people who live in the rainforest. Structures resembling the indigenous housing, known as ocas, present intimate portraits and vivid images of the communities going about their daily lives, interspersed with video interviews with the indigenous leaders working to protect their ancestral lands.

Sebastião Salgado, said: ‘As a Brazilian, the Amazon with its incredible colours, rich textures and awe-inspiring vistas has always held a special place in my heart. Over the course of seven years travelling through the region I witnessed first-hand the damage over-consumption has had on its landscapes and people. I hope visitors to Amazônia will feel inspired by its beauty but also understand the urgent need for action to prevent this unique biodiversity being lost.’

Sally MacDonald, Director of the Science and Industry Museum, said: ‘We are so excited to welcome Amazônia to the Science and Industry Museum, and to bring the work of Sebastião Salgado to Manchester for the first time.

‘Amazônia is a beautiful and evocative exhibition and the Special Exhibitions Gallery is the perfect setting. Visitors can’t fail to be moved and inspired – it is a call to action for us all’

Amazônia is part of an international exhibition tour that began at the Philharmonie in Paris and includes the MAXXI in Rome, SESC in Sao Paulo and the Museum of Tomorrow in Rio de Janeiro.

The Science and Industry Museum is currently going through a multi-million pound restoration programme, meaning some areas including the Power Hall remain closed to the public. However, there’s still plenty to do, see and enjoy.

Sebastião Salgado, born in 1944 in Minas Gerais, Brazil, lives in Paris, France and is married to Lélia Wanick Salgado.

Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, working with photo agencies until 1994, when he and Lélia founded Amazonas images, formed exclusively for his work. Today, this company is their studio.

He has travelled to over 100 countries for his photographic projects. Beyond press publications, his work has appeared in numerous books conceived, designed and edited by Lélia. Including Other Americas, Sahel: l’homme en detresse, Sahel: el fin del camino, An Uncertain Grace, Workers, Terra, Migrations and Portraits, Africa, Genesis, The Scent of a Dream, Kuwait, a desert on fire, and Gold, Serra Pelada Gold Mine.

Touring exhibitions of these works have been, and continue to be, presented in museums and galleries throughout the world. A majority of these have been conceived and curated by Lélia.

Sebastião Salgado is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, and among other distinctions, he was named an honorary member of the Academy of Arts and Sciences in the USA. He has received numerous photographic prizes and prestigious honours, such as the Grand Prix National (Ministry of Culture, France), Comendador da Ordem do Rio Branco in Brazil, and Commandeur de l’Ordre des Arts et des Letters in France.

In 2016, Salgado was elected member of the Academic des Beaux-Arts of the Institut de France, and in the same year, France named him Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur (Knight). In 2018 he was made Chevalier de l’Ordre du Merite Culturel by the Principality of Monaco.

Since the 1990s, Lélia and Sebastião Salgado have worked together on the restoration of part of the Atlantic Forest in Brazil, in the Rio Doce Valley of the state of Minas Geraid, Brazil. In 1998 they turned this land into a nature reserve and created the Instituto Terra. The Instituto is dedicated to a mission of reforestation, conservation and environmental education.

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