Natural History Museum – Sebastiao Salgado


As you may have noticed, if you have read any of my articles before, I like photography. I particularly like black and white photography. So, when I heard about Sebastiao Salgado’s exhibition ‘Genesis’ at the Natural History Museum I knew I had to see it.

It took me a while to get to it, but the wait proved worthwhile. As part of the series of Mastercard Lates going on across London’s Museum’s this summer, the Natural History Museum ran one last Friday (they run on the last Friday of every month), which meant I could see the exhibition at my leisure after work. These after hours sessions feature live music, a bar, food and the opportunity to see their best exhibitions well into the night and provide the perfect alternative to a night out (there’s still plenty of time if you want to).

Salgado has spent eight years travelling the most remote and extreme parts of the globe photographing people, plants, animals and landscapes in an effort to chronicle the last remnants of society and our planet that are utterly at the mercy of nature and cling to ancient ways of life that are lost to all but the most distant. In his own words he was seeking to paint a ‘portrait of the planet’.

The photos are all black and white and in doing so, render all the subjects of the photos equal. Whether it is the chinstrap penguins on Desolation Island or the Alt Xingu Indians of Brazil, his photos remove any distraction that colour might offer and instead forces the view to concentrate on the subjects and the story behind the photo.

The exhibition runs until the 8th September and details can be found here:

Mastercard Lates are not just on at the Natural History Museum, but also the British Museum, the V&A, the Science Museum and a variety of other venues across London.   

Peter Churchill