Tom Longhurst, 37, recently made the bold move of selling his business and home in the UK to move to Lagos in search of a better life for his family.
Despite the economic climate, Tom and his family feel positive about their new life in Portugal. Tom had always had a connection with the area after having most of his childhood holidays in Burgau and has fond memories of surfing the empty waves of the west coast beaches in the early eighties.
After travelling the world and living in California for a short time, he started to dream of setting up a surf gallery. After hours, days and what turned into years of research, he manage to get a hand full of professional photographers interested. The only decision was where to do it. People said London, California and, if Portugal, the only place could be Lisbon.
Knowing Lagos and loving the area’s coastline, Tom made the move, against all advice, to set up his dream gallery in the town he knew and loved.
Tom told the Algarve Resident: “I am proud to say the gallery is everything I hoped it to be. We have renowned photographers from all over the world such as Chris Burkard, Steve Fitzpatrick and Ben Selway, but, most importantly, the top Portuguese photographers are behind it and have been extremely supportive, even driving down from Lisbon for our opening.
“Ricardo Bravo, André Carvalho and João Pedro Costa have been a huge help and, without them, the gallery could not have been opened.”
The gallery opened on May 10 and already the response has been good not only from local surfers and the public but also from local artists, such as João Rei (http://cantsurfnaked.com), photographer João Bracourt, shaper and artist Daniel Costa (http://retromovement.blogspot.pt), expressing interest in showing their work in the gallery.
Tom says: “I really hope to bring a fresh approach to the surfing culture in the Algarve, the area is bursting with talent in and out of the water and Portugal needs to see the talent it has to offer.
“If the local kids see that surfing is not all about big brands and getting sponsored, I think we can change some minds and have a good influence on the next generation.”
Tom says he has many ideas to keep the gallery interesting, such as talks for the children, surf film nights during the quiet winters and, of course, many exhibitions.
The Secret Spot Gallery is located at Rua Fernão Vilarinho, Lote 15, Bloco B, Loja 5, in Lagos. It is open Monday to Friday from 2pm to 5.30pm (Thursdays also from 8pm to 10pm), on Saturdays from 5pm to 9pm and is closed on Wednesdays and Sundays.