07 SEPTEMBER – 19 SEPTEMBER 2015
Beetles+Huxley will exhibit Sebastião Salgado’s Serra Pelada photo series this September, thirty years after the photographs were taken. The series was created by the celebrated photojournalist as part of his vast photo-essay entitled Workers: An Archaeology of the Industrial Age. The Serra Pelada series describes the captivating plight of the 50,000 gold miners who scaled the Serra Pelada mine everyday.
The mine was famously controversial, employing thousands of local workers in perilous conditions. During the early 1980s, tens of thousands of prospectors flocked to the Serra Pelada site, which at its peak was said to be not only the largest open-air gold mine in the world, but also the most violent. During the peak of the gold rush the mine was known for appalling conditions and violence, whilst the town that grew up beside it was notorious for both murder and prostitution.
Perhaps Salgado’s most famous images, his photographs of the Serra Pelada gold mine are vertigo-inducing in their scale and depth. His cinematic compositions reveal the vast scale of the gruelling hell endured by the miners.
In the recently released Oscar-nominated biopic, ‘The Salt of The Earth’, Salgado discusses his experience at Serra Pelada: Every hair on my body stood on edge. The Pyramids, the history of mankind unfolded. I had travelled to the dawn of time.’
Salgado has travelled to over one hundred countries during his long career and has been honoured with multiple international awards. He is a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador and honorary member of The Academy of Arts and Science in the United States. He was named Master of Photography at Photo London 2015.
Sebastião Salgado: Serra Pelada will be on display from Monday 7 September to 19 September at Beetles and Huxley, 3-5 Swallow Street, London W1B 4DE. Entry is free.