Tiago Bettencourt – Unlikely Garden

This ten photo sequence focuses on several locations of Madeira island and the photographic record of unusual and unexpected phenomena, derived from the human ‘footprint' in the landscape of this Atlantic island. They are a selection of a total of 45 photos, taken from the photo-book jardim Improvável, in english 'Unlikely Garden' (published in 2017, as my final year project), which addresses the relation between nature’s landscapes, architecture and human occupation.

It’s relevant to say that on it’s discovery, in 1420, this island was completely filled with very dense sub-tropical vegetation. Centennial and even millennial trees covered the entire island, and the first written records of the portuguese explorers say that, when in land, they could barely cross the shores and beaches into higher ground because of It’s tight vegetation. That is why they baptized it ‘Madeira’, which in english literally means wood. Since then, it’s coloners, and now it’s almost 300.000 inhabitants, drastically destroyed and are still destroying most of this once green virgin landscape.

All images © Tiago Bettencourt, photographer from Funchal, Portugal.


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