abstract photography Alma Bibolotti contemporary art fine art Italy photo art



// Alma Bibolotti is a photographer/artist from Bari in Southern Italy. Photography is an inner travel, her own way of dealing with emotions. “Something of Venice” is her tribute to the fragility of this city that is full of cultural heritage and yet risks to lose it all to commerce.

“I was born in Bari where I graduated in Foreign languages. Then I moved to France where I lived and worked for 6 years, between Paris and Nice. My relationship with photography started when I discovered Edward Weston, Mimmo Jodice, Mario Giacomelli, Lucien Clergue, and many other masters of light whose works had a strong influence on my vision. I was very young when I was offered my first SLR camera, an old Pentax Spotmatic,” Alma says. “Since then, photography is an inner journey, vital to me: when I started to take photos and print them in my darkroom, I realized I could express my deepest emotions. I was interested in post-processing darkroom techniques and when I shifted from analogue to digital photography, I was still mainly drawn by the need to fix impermanence and to experiment.”

Much of Alma´s work focuses on the language of nature, on her relationship with landscape and the natural world. She aims to render what she is feeling while shooting, rather than what she is witnessing. “I also think that sometimes common objects and simple landscapes evoke parallel worlds where dreaminess and double meaning prevail, so that the outer space gives voice to my inner gaze.”

In 2019 Alma won the finalist award of ‘International Garden Photographer of the Year’ at the London Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew. In 2022 her portfolio ‘Arborum sudaria’ was exhibitd and got an honourable mention in the international contest ‘Transversalidades – Fotografia sem fronteiras’.

“A work of art should be like a well-planned crime. The will to work must dominate, for art is long and time is brief.”

Charles Baudelaire

What draws you to the arts?

“In my education and my family, art was very important and I often went to exhibitions and museums. I have always loved surrealism and probably, one of the very first photographic encounter which provoked a choc were the works of Man Ray because of his creative freedom in experimentation. When I started to use my first camera, I realized that through images, I could show something which was rooted inside: it could seem a paradox but I think photography helps me to disclose what I perceive with my soul, my emotional state, to reveal the sensibility I cannot express otherwise. The objective reality conceals secrets and in my photographic practice, I aim to make visible what is hidden into the ordinary.

What do you like best about artful photography such as the images you have shared with us?

In this project I try to express the emotions of my intimate relationship with Venice: for me, Venice is a ‘feminine’ city, a mirror of unconscious. Everytime I was in Venice I understood something more about myself.

The series “Qualcosa di Venezia – Something of Venice” relates to this legendary city, which for centuries has been a place where European collective historical memory is preserved, with its 400.000 volumes of archives. Some of them were badly affected during the last acqua alta (flood). Venice, whose stones become a metaphor for memory in the sixth volume of Proust’s ”A la recherche de temps perdu” is fragile, ancestral, unique, and today Venice risks losing its soul and the memory of its diversity, crushed in the mono-cultural mill of standardised entertainment.

A thousand residents leave Venice every year and Venetians have begun to live in the memory of their own city. “As the art historian Settis reminds us in his essay, the city risks to become an empty shell, ‘a sort of artificial paradise for the rich, a city that does not exist’. Venice may die of amnesia and if Venice dies, ‘(…) self-forgetfulness will be the only thing to blame.’ Walking far from the places over-consumed by tourists, my challenge was to seek the unseen Venice,” Alma explains. “The small details I collected on walls, doors, canals edges, the material elements such as the rust, the plaster covering affected by salt or the doors peeling off, like wounds and scars, become metaphors of the loss. Through the muted colours fragments of its surreal and feminine soul, I aim to show glimpses of something hidden from view and tell the threat hanging over Venice fragile and precious memory.”

Click on the photos to see a larger image.


To see more of her photography visit Alma´s Instagram page and her website.

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