Terrae, the visual work of his experiences in frozen Iceland, has returned Armengol to the window display. Manel Armengol (Badalona, 1949), one of the greatest of contemporary photography, has captured in this volume the synthesis of two trips to the fascinating Nordic island, and whose travels up and down the country left him with a deep imprint. From them came the images for two exhibitions, in black and white and large format, which have now served as a reflection, in book form, on the immensity of nature. Nature in its wild state, barren and inhospitable, with mythical and impressive landscapes.
Earth and natural elements, as acknowledged by Armengol, are now more than ever the focus and interest of the photographer, who long ago abandoned action photography to devote himself to observing spaces and light in silence.
In the case of Iceland, it meant the realization of a mythologized dream, having read Jules Verne and his Journey to the Center of the Earth. His first trip, however, was circumstantial: "I went for an assignment, and I found an absolutely barren island, almost uninhabited, with constant weather changes in minutes," he explains. A wild landscape that sent him to "an ancestral memory, when the Earth was practically uninhabited." In Namaskard, he remembers, I had a revelation: "One night that I could not sleep I went to a sulphurous water hot spring where every half minute, with continuous cadence, you could feel the puffs of steam. I had the feeling of hearing the Earth breathing".
By: Martí Benach
The photographic works of Manel Armengol, developed over 40 years of professional dedication, cover a considerable range of subjects resulting from various life stages. He took up photography through photojournalism covering the well-known story of the demonstration for freedom in 1976 in Barcelona, and his stays as a correspondent in the United States and China in the 70s.
Following an accident that moved him away from journalism, he explores various thematic areas ranging from night photography with the chimneys on the roof of La Pedrera, a set of dreamlike introspectives, to an intimate approach to nature with series like Herbarium and Terrae.
Throughout his career, he has combined topics of personal interest with the production of work for publishers and private clients.
Photography by Hallgrimur Arnarson
He has exhibited on numerous occasions in galleries and institutions. His work is present in private and public funds and collections.
Museu Arxiu Municipal de can Banús. Marqués de Barbarà, 9. Vilassar de Dalt