London-based photographer Tim Motion documented the Algarve, where he lived in the ’60’s and ’70’s. When in need for a cultural fix – after an ocean swim on a hot Summer day – head to the photo exhibition at the parque municipal do sitio das fontes estombar, between Silves and Lagoa. (Google Maps knows).
Motion’s black and white photos of daily Algarvian life are fascinating. A different time but the essence remains the same, I even see striking similarities between Portuguese life behind the frames and outside. The clothes are different, but what I sense while walking through the park after visiting the exhibition, exudes the same atmosphere. Families enjoy a day at the national park. Kids swimming in the natural pool and big families gathering around wooden tables for a homemade picnic. The simple life.
Tim Motion shows Algarve’s emotions
Looking at these photos you see life happening while you watch. I feel a spectator of the opening of a time capsule. Some of the pictures could have been taken today. On the monthly farmers market in Algoz, in the harbour of Olhao or a gypsy camp in the fields.
Also the photo of three old men on a bench could have been taken in the small village close to our quinta just this morning. I see them daily, the men-with-hats sitting in front of the local market hall. All day. Every day.
“We took the opportunity to observe and record life in Algarve with avid enthusiasm, visiting every church, chapel, taberna, restaurant, fishing port, pottery and local market we could find, communicating with local people”.
__ Tim Motion
On the other hand, life as shown on these pictures could also easily have been in the late 1900’s. The Algarvian people stick to their traditions, let’s hope this will not change too much in the future.
Sitio das fontes de Estombar
The quiet natural park is place where the Portuguese come to relax with their children. This really is a nice change from the beach or stroll in one of the towns.
Walk around, even jog if you can handle the heath, or take a swim in one of the historical canal pools – clear, cold water – or set up your bbq.
Fontes means springs in Portuguese and on this location human activities dating back to pre-historic times have been found.
Must come back and walk the trail along the Arade river during sunset.
The park is open daily and the exhibition is open from Tuesday to Saturday 11.00 – 18.00 hrs. The location is the reconstructed Algarve house next to the old watermill.
The expo is closed during lunchtime between 13.00 – 14.00 hrs, another typical Portuguese tradition, one has to eat right?
Admission is free and Tim Motion’s great photo book is for sale on the spot (30€). Perfect gift for anyone with only the tiniest crush on Algarve.