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cultural architecture cultural heritage Floriana Avellino Italy Stefan Tilburgs

HEAVEN AND EARTH

FLORIANA AVELLINO

// Floriana is a self-taught photographer from Lissone, Northern Italy. She is interested in the patterns and details of architecture, much as she is interested in observing human nature and people´s emotions. She found much beauty in the small Ligurian town of Porto Maurizio and shared a series of architectural views of the Duomo´s neoclassical architecture.

Floriana only started her relationship with photography in 2019. Holding a degree in cultural and linguistic mediation with a thesis in sociology, she expresses her passion for the observation of human dynamics and communication. “Naturally being allergic to labels I am really inspired by any photographic genre, considering each genre not so much a way of capturing reality but of interpreting and sharing a personal vision of it at a specific moment or in a given situation. In that process the observer mixes up with their subject of observation and there I see a chance to build a bridge towards the outer world and other human beings, meeting them in what we all have in common (inner emotions, hopes and fears),” she explains. “ I want to make at least one picture a day. So I keep sharp and always explore new things“.

She has always loved black and white photography because it tells a clear story without the distraction of colours.


“There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in your philosophy. “

William Shakespeare (in Hamlet)


What draws you to the arts?

“I can say art saved my life. I have always been a highly sensitive person and sometimes found it hard to see a reason for this frantic and difficult world. Music and art made me feel that everything can have a reason or more precisely that we can try and give a meaning to reality through art and creativity. I fell in love with U2 and music at a very young age, I loved travelling with captain Nemo through Jules Verne’s books, and discovering that dreams can be represented as Monet could do with his vibrant colours. Then I was fascinated by how some great photographers managed to represent their own vision of reality through their camera, so thanks to Fontana, Ghirri, Scianna, Cartier-Bresson, Vivian Maier, Berenice Abbott, William Eggleston I deeply fell in love with photography”

What impressed you most about the town you visited and photographed for this series?

“When I visited this typical Italian village the project took suddenly form in my mind, because I immediately perceived a series of simple elements, such as clear architectural lines (together with their cracks) as clear symbols of the immense power of time.”

Floriana conceived this project during a trip to Porto Maurizio, a characteristic Ligurian village in Italy. Among several genres of photography she loves architecture and street photography, and while spending some days in this village she was fascinated by the multiple minimalist insights and street impressions she found. The clean, rational lines of its neoclassical Duomo and its columns and arcades struck her for their beauty. The cracks and peeling paint of its facade only increased her fascination for such an authentic place, which showed so well the passage of time.

The building, which was built in neoclassical style on a project by Gaetano Cantoni between 1781 and 1838, was built according to the canons of splendor and majesty, testifying to the riches of the Maritime Republic of Genoa and Porto Maurizio at the time. It is the largest church in all of Liguria

“I believe minimalism and street observation are perfect in the process of starting from reality to abstraction and reflect on universal themes, such as time, rationalization attempts and freedom,” she adds.

Floriana is in love with the Shakespeare quote we have cited above, because it perfectly expresses how she sees life and how photography is vital to expressing herself: “It speaks of art´s power to catch fragments of reality, extracting them from specific times and space frames and thus becoming a means of abstracting and reflecting on life. It is a way of looking for and/or giving meaning to what we observe.”


Click on the photos to see the full image with title, some images may be cropped for layout.

ALL PHOTOS © FLORIANA AVELLINO

To see more of her photography visit Floriana´s Instagram page.

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