Brazilian self-taught photographer Leandro Gladstone will have his first international exhibition this May in Bray, Co. Wicklow. His personal project A Look at the Streets was recently transformed into a book and some of his work will be displayed at Finnbees Cafe, with opening night on the 19th of May, from 5pm. The Brazilian Ambassador, Marcel Biato, will attend the event with his wife.
“A Look at the Streets” (in Portuguese “Um Olhar Sobre as Ruas”) was born while Leandro was traveling to Colombia, many years ago, with his old band. He borrowed a camera from his ex-girlfriend and used it to register the streets of the cities they were visiting and decided to create the project when he was back to Belo Horizonte, his hometown in Brazil.
Leandro is a person of colour who grew up in a poor family in Brazil, having to face many challenges, including racism from his own father. His mother never had the chance to support his talents (he’s also a self-taught musician) but Leandro never gave up doing what he loved and this project was very special for him.
“A Look at the Streets is firstly about me, about people like myself that just needed a change. Or to be seen. I didn’t need a fancy camera when I started this project and I didn’t care much about the ‘quality’ of the photos, I just cared about what the photos meant to me. How they made and make me feel. And they make me feel alive. I am part of each of these photos, it’s like a mirror, it reflects my life and it reflects society and its abandonment to the less favoured people”, says Leandro.
In the beginning of this year, a close friend who has been living in Ireland for over a decade, decided to launch a fundraising to realise Leandro’s dream: to transform his photos into a book. With the fundraising and the help from people all over the world, his friend was not only able to print the book, but to purchase flights to bring Leandro to Ireland. And with the support of local people, Leandro will also have his first international exhibition.
During the opening night, people will have the opportunity to see his work, have a chat and purchase his prints. The money raised will go towards the Irish edition of A Look at the Streets, as Leandro will be photographing the country during the few weeks he’ll be here in Ireland. His photos will be on display at Finnbees until May 27th.