This is how we spend time together. This is how we bring our ghosts and demons to life. By taking photographs, drawing funny creatures and cooking pancakes that look like scary monsters before eating them with sugar or Nutella. This is how we play together, how we pretend there is no such thing as the vast emptiness that keeps us apart during most days of our lives: 2500 km of land and water, to be precise, the sheer vastness of Europe. But most days is not all days of our lives, right?
Yes, sometimes we do find our way into spending some time together, and when we do, the first thing on our list is to get our caravan ready and go and live by the beach for a few days. Did you know that our old caravan once belonged to my father? I have spent so many holidays travelling around in it myself when I was younger. I never really liked it, to be honest, because my father would hardly allow us to spend more than a few hours in the same place. He always wanted to show us Europe in a week, we were constantly on the move… it was exhausting, I hated the fact that I never had any chance to explore my surroundings. Deep down I guess I always wanted to fix that. Only after becoming a parent myself, I had this idea of giving the old caravan a second chance, the chance to stay in the same place for as long as possible.
Our location of choice has always been this magical beach, located at the westernmost tip of Europe, far away from the very North of Europe, where you have been taken to live with your mother. Our beach is really windy and sometime it gets really wild out there. Blasts of sand, projected by the wind, leave red rashes on our skin. But when it calms down, oh boy, there’s no other place like that on Earth. That’s why you hardly see any tourists in there, except for a few kite surfers looking for an adrenalin hit. Like them, we have also chosen this place to park our small caravan, which has probably less than 4 square meters with all the beds, kitchen, toilet and living room. There’s only enough water for a few days, if we are careful doing the dishes, and only one person can stand up at a time. But the lack of space doesn’t seem to be a problem for us. After such long periods not being able to touch each other’s skin, not being able to smell each other’s breath while sleeping at night, this is how we compensate for the lost time, for all distancing that has been imposed on us.
It is in this tiny capsule, surrounded by sand, wind and salty water that we travel to our many different imaginary worlds. It’s where we play games, impersonate sea creatures and feed them with pancakes. This is where we are allowed to be the real monsters.
All photographs by Pedro Guimarães, produced in collaboration with Nuno Engstrøm Guimarães (drawings, 7 years old) and Emma-Sofie Engstrøm Guimarães (monster pancakes, 5 years old). This work also includes the collaboration of artist Sara Bichão, who kindly offered her mask sculptures to be included in this project. Book design by Dayana Lucas. Release date to be announced soon.
Pedro Guimarães bio:
Born 27th September 1977 in Braga, Portugal.
Pedro works as an artist and a freelance photographer. He holds a Master degree from University of Westminster, M.A. Photographic Studies, London (2009-2010). He is the co-founder of the publishing house and bookshop ‘XYZ Books’ (2014), with a focus on publishing and promotion of photography and artist books. He is also the founder and president of ‘A Ilha’, a non for profit organization located in Lisbon whose aim is to provide exhibition opportunities, offer residency and workshop programs and to promote cultural interchange between the local community and the artistic community. Since 2001 he has been collaborating on a regular basis with some of the world’s most influential newspapers and magazines such as The Daily Telegraph, The Financial Times, The New York Times, The Guardian, Monocle Magazine among others.