In her project ‘Lanzarote’, Giovanna Petrocchi investigates our perception of nature. Experimenting with multiple techniques and mixing images from a variety of sources, she creates a futuristic, outlandish scenario in which human experience is suspended in time and space.
“Last summer I visited Lanzarote, one of the Canary Islands off the coast of West Africa. Its landscape has a stark and otherworldly appearance, with the occasional bucolic, palm-filled valley juxtaposed with surreal, crinkly black lava fields. After spending a few days exploring the land, my impression of it was of a place beyond the influence of time, frozen in an uncertain geological age, with no trace of culture or civilization. Because of its unusual features, Lanzarote made me think of futuristic scenarios mixed with early earth’s atmospheres.
With this body of work, I intend to document my experience and visionary interpretation of those lands, but also to create a visual world that would encourage the viewer to reflect on how the landscape is or should be understood today. By combining personal photographs of the island with handmade collages, digitally manipulated images, and archival photography, I embark on an intimate investigation of nature while acknowledging that, since the proliferation of digital technology, the way in which it is perceived and represented has dramatically changed in the past few years.
What we are seeing in this series appears to be pure nature, with no trace of man whatsoever, and yet these images are entirely artificial, a man-made reverie of nature. The act of recycling a landscape into another one gives me at least the illusion of creating a brand new scenario therefore exempt of human experience. In depicting this undiscovered place, beyond space and time, the use of different techniques is fundamental to translate a feeling of in-betweenness into the photographic process too. The juxtaposition of traditional handmade collage with more complex and digitalized interventions make sure to place the artistic process in a limbo in the same way as nature is positioned in this uncertain historical and geological context.
The archival animal-shaped sculptures represent the only inhabitants of Lanzarote. These creatures, made of the same matter as the earth, antique, noble and poor at the same time, are ancient and new, almost Platonic concepts of future animals. Despite being made thousands of years ago, each sculpture is incredibly modern in its shape. Their stylized silhouette can definitely be compared to those of contemporary representations of animals. Besides, their funny features make a contrast with the melancholy and desolation provoked by each of the landscapes.”- Giovanna Petrocchi
Giovanna Petrocchi is an Italian visual artist who lives and works in London. Graduating in 2015 with a BA in Photography from the London College of Communication, she was subsequently awarded the Flowers Gallery mentorship award and her work was featured in the British Journal of Photography. Her latest work has been exhibited in the Pingyao International Photography Festival, China, and in the group show “Psyche Valuations” at the White Conduit Projects, London. Most recently, she has been selected as a winner for Flash Forward Magenta Foundation 2016 and her project “Zone of Proximity” has been shown in a solo exhibition at MMX Gallery in London.
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