Brazilian photographer Ana Leal pursues themes of natural environment and contemplation in her artworks. Inspired by minimalism and the Concretism movement in Brazil, Leal pairs down her predominantly abstract photographs depicting stillness and structure. She uses both film and digital cameras to capture imagery she observes, stages or edits to invite the viewers into contemplation in the inner labyrinths of her subjects. Leal takes her audience to a timeless place of diffuse spatiality. She aims to capture the beauty of simplicity through abstraction or rendering subtle images that emphasize minutiae. Each image is printed as a solo image on materials such as paper, canvas, or aluminum, or are composed as diptychs and triptychs. Leal is the winner of the 15th Julia Margaret Cameron Award in the abstract category. She also received an Honorable Mention on both Prix de La Photographie Paris and the 15th Pollux Awards as was also nominated on Latin America 7. Her work has been exhibited across the United States and Brazil. Leal (b. 1969, Brazil) currently works and lives in São Paulo, Brazil. She completed her Master of Fine Arts at Miami International University of Arts and Design (2018), and her Bachelor of Arts in photography from the Pan American School of Arts in São Paulo (2013).
225 Days and Counting : An essay about apparent insignificances
‘225 Days and counting’ is an essay composed of a series of images produced during quarantine due to Covid-19. Most of them were taken at my apartment in the city, some at a weekend retreat, both in São Paulo, Brazil, and reflect this period of a contemplative mood when time seemed suspended. This is a diary about the isolation experienced during these days. I started this quarantine thinking about opportunities the isolation could uncover: a needed time for contemplation and a slower pace of living. Slowly I became self-conscious about my living space, my body, and my emotions. Guided by this contemplative state of mind, my gaze reconfigured the sense of the simple. An empty place of silence, a harmonic cadence that registered apparent insignificance. The rarefied morning light announces a new day that sneaks in through the window, moves through the curtain weave to warmly illuminate our intimacy. At the end of the day, the light is gone, and with it many times my energy too. Moods change. Contradictory emotions cohabit in an often tired body. There is, however, this infinite beauty that pulsates in the small details, which usually goes unnoticed in our daily routines. Capturing this sensation throws me into an ethereal, delicate, and melancholic atmosphere. Observing the images, I am moved to this timeless place of diffuse spatiality. It seems that I am denying the existence of things in their time as an escape from reality. The images presented in this collection are observations of the everyday personal moments that poetically document what it means to be living through the time of the pandemic Finally, a question: in the future, will this very particular moment that we have been going through be also considered