Arthur Pastor

I discovered the work of the photographer Artur Pastor and his beautiful Photographs of life in Portugal in the 40’s and couldn’t.stop.looking!

I can vaguely remember the research train one evening..

Going from incredible Nick Cave-esq Portuguese festival costumes, to their traditional outfits, constantly distracted by great baskets, and then somehow THIS incredible body of work!

Photographer Artur Pastor was born in 1922, and has an enormous body of work showing scenes of Portugal life in the forties, fifties and sixties.

I LOVE that these images don’t seem to be staged at all. I love that they are mostly of women. I love that they show women making and women working and at the market and performing everyday tasks.

I LOVE that you can spy on their outfits and textures and details of the textiles of the times. I think the photos give a real sense of the day to day lives and some of the activities and duties they would be doing. 

Basically, I’m totally enamoured with his work, well everything I could find.

I have to admit I’m not an in-depth researcher type. Not completely surface skimmer either…. I haven’t got out books about him from the library or read any thesis papers, some light reading only.

Saying that, I 100% think that the photographs speak for themselves.

They play a small part of my immersion into a new country, my adopted country. 

My grasp of the Portuguese language is slow but getting there, I not very well read on the history really and am starting to pick up a bit of the literature that I’ve found translated to English. (recommendations more than welcome)

 I’m trying to find entry points for learning about the Portuguese traditions, histories and stories, and most interesting of all I find craft work and making. This series of photographs scratch that itch perfectly.

When it is safe to do so, I’m excited to travel to Tras Os Montes, to visit my partners 94 year old aunt, who has lived through the times depicted here and can tell me stories first hand.