Souvenirs from the Sun

So, what is this about?
In 2012 I visited the Canary Islands for the first time with my girlfriend. With an average temperature of around 25 degrees celsius ☀️, the islands are a well-known holiday destination for Europeans.
Since the introduction of low-cost airlines ✈️ in the early 2000’s these destinations have become accessible to the masses. While the islands are full of natural treasures, the majority travels to the islands just for the climate.
Groups of tourists arrive at the airport and take a bus to the nearest beach town to lay down on a sunbed ⛱️ and enjoy their well deserved holiday in a village along the coast. Nothing wrong with that…
But these little oases wouldn't exist without constant human intervention. You can see it when you look closely at the soil around the palm trees 🌴and notice a rubber hose with holes in the ground for watering the plants.
Without human intervention these places would be nothing more than black lava rocks 🪨. If you travel more inland the diverse nature of the islands start to appear. Rock formations, national parks and even a snowy mountain top.
After my first visit I kept coming back to these islands to photograph the contrast between the artificial and the natural. To highlight this contrast I brought the two worlds together in a series called ‘Souvenirs From The Sun’. ☀️
I took inflatables from beach towns (souvenirs) and combined them with the landscape of the national parks on the island 🌵. It makes me wonder; are the tourists on the island just as out of place, as the plastic souvenirs are in nature?
And will our travel behaviour eventually bring penguins to the desert? ☀️🌵🐧
Funny and not funny at the same time.
It was awarded a nomination for the World Photography Awards in 2017 and presented as a solo exhibition at thePrintSpace in Shoreditch, London.
and also available as NFT collection on foundation.
See this project in the archive
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(c) 2021 Gijs van den Berg instagram