Photographic exhibition: Love of lavender

North of the Algarve’s coastal strip, surrounded by rolling hills and uncultivated scenery, photographer Gillian Campbell is immersed in glorious countryside. Her photographs are on display at Galeria Côrte-Real near Paderne.

Like the photographer’s home, the gallery is set in a peaceful rural area that visitors to the Algarve rarely explore. There are huge varieties of wild flowers, birds and butterflies. Plants such as French lavender (Gillian’s picture) grow in profusion, often to the size of small shrubs.

Perfectly adapted to conserve water through the heat of an Algarve summer, the leaves are densely felted with fine hairs. Crowned with showy purple bracts, the tiny flowers arise in parallel spikes. The favourite nectar of many bees, most honey eaten in the Algarve is of the French lavender type.

It is one of four varieties of pure lavendula that is cultivated for the perfume industry on vast horticultural farms in Provence, France. Prized for its potent scent Gillian was attracted by its wild, unkempt and natural beauty. Focusing her camera on unspoiled aspects of the Algarve, Gillian’s photographs are in keeping with the ethos of Galeria Côrte-Real.

The gallery is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne. It is open Thursday to Sunday, from 11am until 5pm. You can also visit Côrte- Real’s pop-up gallery located above estate agents Fine & Country in Carvoeiro.

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Photo: Gillian Campbell’s photographs at Galeria Côrte-Real