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Samutthana: a solo exhibition by Alejandro Gortazar

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13 The Gallery and the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group are delighted to present Samutthana: a solo exhibition by Alejandro Gortazar in support of the Sri Lankan people.

This exhibition explores the work of the London-based, Cuban photographer, Alejandro Gortazar. Through the display of photographs taken during his travels in Sri Lanka, visitors will have the opportunity to experience rediscovered colours through Gortazar’s lenses. Bringing together his works on landscapes, people and wildlife, the exhibition presents a clear summary of the artist’s long and successful career marked by a large number of international solo and group shows.

This exhibition seeks to raise funds for the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group, a charity devoted to provide support to Sri Lankan organizations dealing with those affected by trauma following civil conflict and natural disasters. Through their Sri Lankan partner organization, Samutthana, the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma group organises training for groups, mental health carers, psychologists, psychiatrists and others with the aim to raise awareness, build capacity and increase the quality of mental health care in this part of the world.

Alejandro Gortazar’s main intention in his photographic work has been to capture the beauty and perfect balance of nature and wildlife to remind us about the importance of protecting our environment. Thanks to his profound understanding of light, colour temperature and definition, he creates timeless images of ever-changing environments and cultures, evoking feelings difficult to express with words. Working with both analog and digital cameras, and printing with special pigments on canvas and archival paper, Gortazar has come to be known internationally for his ability to create photographs often mistaken for paintings.

His visit to Sri Lanka followed a photographic project in Kenya. Attracted in particular to the Leopard, he took on an adventurous journey with one of the best leopard trackers, Noel Rodrigo, in Southern Sri Lanka. When confronted by the animal, he waited until the leopard perceived him as a friend (not a hunter) and accepted him into his environment, which allowed him to take the iconic picture of this series. As Gortazar planned his visit, little he knew of the impression that this country would have left on him. Devastated by years of civil wars and unexpected natural disasters, he was struck by the strength and positive attitude that the Sri Lankan people seemed to have retained towards life –what better name for this exhibition than Samutthana, which means ‘renewal’ or ‘regeneration’ in Sanskrit. 

To raise funds for the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group, you can purchase a £20 raffle ticket for the opportunity to win a framed photograph of the leopard, the proceeds of which will go in full to the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group. In addition, 20% of exhibition sale profits will go to the UK-Sri Lanka Trauma Group. 

Artist ( Description ): 

Alejandro Gortazar

Born in 1973 in Havana, Cuba, after a well-established and extensive career in his homeland as a professional photographer and journalist, Gortazar lives between Havana and London since 2009. A year later, following seven international exhibitions, he opened his studio-gallery in the unique Latin American and Caribbean Seven Sisters Indoor Market. A further year and with five more international exhibitions, he expanded his business to the local high street, in Newington Green. A serious accident Gortazar suffered in Sri Lanka, at the beginning of 2012, slowed down his renovation of the decaying space that he has successfully turned into 13 The Gallery. Working with both analog and digital cameras, and printing with special pigments on canvas and archival paper, Gortazar has come to be known internationally for his ability to create photographs often mistaken for paintings. His profound understanding of light, colour temperature and definition creates timeless images of ever-changing environments and cultures, evoking feelings difficult to express. These instantly recognizable photographs are on display at 13 The Gallery.

Other Info: 

N.B. All photographs are in limited editions of 25 carefully printed by the author on high grade archival matte with Vivera pigment inks, to make them museum-quality prints with exceptional fade resistance of more than 200 years.

Venue ( Address ): 

13 The Gallery

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