Gabriel Thompson trained himself in film photography in the streets and in community darkrooms after living a life of struggle that included periods of homelessness and institutionalization. Thompson regards photography as a form of poetry, allowing him to express his truth through the observations he makes during his wanderings. Celluloid and the absence of any immediate, digital view of the images he captures are essential in his search to communicate through film.
In The Naked Light I Saw is a body of work produced over a nine-month journey during which Thompson lived out of a backpack filled with film and cameras, and stayed with people he met en route. Thompson uses photography as a powerful tool to reflect upon his struggle to connect in a distant world and guide his search for identity and compassion. His photographs are haunting documents of those who inhabit the cities where he travels and the traces that they leave behind. Thompson explores street photography as an art form that is not about poverty, squalor, misery, or the disenfranchised; rather, these images capture the universality of the human condition.