LifeOnLand at Ilhabela

Since we moved to Ilhabela, I started to feel the need of registering details of random people, like us, in their own routine. The São Sebastião channel is beautiful, our coastline is incredible and the caiçara (local) communities has an undeniable cultural value.

But what about the life of 40 thousand people who live in the middle of all that, where was it? Isn’t there any beauty on that?

These questions were my mind for months, until, after 4 rainy days I decided to go for a walk by myself to shoot. There was mud everywhere, around my home, on the streets, so full of mud that I had to take of my shoes and, right on the first three steps, I already had mud until my legs. I looked down, and that was the exact moment when this photographic serie was born.

The light was incredible, that reddish brown invaded and filled the image. And immediately came in my mind the Myth of the Mud from Greek Mythology, saying that the man had been shaped imperfectly out of a mound of mud. And that was the connection I was looking for, the proof that the Ilhabela´s nature is so splendid that it invades your life. And that the beauty from here is even more complex, and much more valuable.


From then on, I started to register the serie, without any claim to create a final point of view, either an opinion. I focused on details, punctual, elements that, in my opinion, guide the lives here. I also noticed that many of these elements which are hated by tourists, just like the mud, the rain, the bus, etc.. are indispensable for the existence of its island loved attractions.

One of the examples of the strength of this story is the photograph titled “More Love Please”, which is basically the foam hearts draws on the bus, during the traditional Carnival Group, “O Banho da Dorotéia (Doroteia´s Bath).

What has a bus photograph got to do with Ilhabela? Everything! There is no tourism in Ilhabela without its day-to-day, without its residents who, carry the island on their shoulders, on daily basis.