Faithful to the concept of using flowers to create arranged still-life images under the best possible lighting conditions, João turned his eye to his native Brazil in 2020. He brings a dozen Delft Blue pieces to the country and sets up his studio on January 8, 2020 in the farm of his brother in the town of Tueré in the state of Pará. In the middle of the Amazon forest.
Much like he does in the Netherlands, João sets out the next day to locate flowers and leaves in the immediate vicinity of the studio. But this time he depended on what nature offered. And on his family. With the help of six family members, he scavenges the forest floor for materials to bring back to the studio. João says: ‘’I was blessed to have my family around to help. Without them hunting for materials with me, it would have been next to impossible to collect everything I needed. It was truly a team-effort.’’ He laughs: ‘’At night however, they continued to provide assistance. They advised me on composition, made suggestions for the lighting and would get excited when seeing the images captured on the computer screen. That was rather tricky as I was trying to concentrate, but a wonderful experience altogether.’’
The second leg of his trip took him to Belem, the capital of Pará. With a small rented flat in the city as his base, he would venture out alone to the city’s markets, shops and an island off the coast. João remembers: “Belem was tough. I no longer had my support system and had to do everything on foot in as little as four days. I would love to go back there and spend at least two weeks more. I saw so many great things to photograph!’’ The final place for João to work in Brazil was from the house of his parents in Sao Francisco do Brejão in the state of Maranhão. He explains: “My father has been a farmer all his life and I am the only son who never followed him in his footsteps. He really enjoyed being the director of the work I made at my parent’s house.’’ João titled his work ‘’Flora Brazil.’’