Manuel Botelho has been dedicated to the obsessive task of photographing Portuguese funerary sculpture since 2014, traveling the country in an adventure that had its origins in Monastery of Saint Marcus, in Coimbra. Without the intent to illustrate or catalogue the theme, these photographs represent the search for a permanence of something that is destined to vanish into dust.They signify something that lies way beyond the material, something spiritual and timeless.They symbolize Humanity silently crossing the tides of time.
Silence is also a central theme in his most recent series Negro de Fumo (Carbon Black). Staggered and fascinated, repelled and lured by the fires that devastated our country in 2017, Botelho photographed the landscape around Tondela for over a year. A terrifying and simultaneously sublime vision, where the rawness of the black contrasted (carbon) with anbewildering chromatic richness of the burnt trees and bushes.
Both series address death and disappearance. They talk about time and the inevitable transformation it imposes upon every single thing, and at the same time they embody a desire for immortality.