This project grew out of the artist’s fervent desire to live in close contact with the sea. To this end, Pradelli chose to move to these islands off the Sicilian coast (Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Filicudi, Alicudi, Panarea, Stromboli) during the winter, when the light is brighter and clearer. These are not the summer Eolians, but islands shrouded in an atmosphere of profound, silent calm, with only the hiss of the sea and the unsettling rumble of the volcanoes.
The project was not to produce a photographic record of the islands, but to register a personal visual journey, in which Pradelli identifies with the places themselves, feeling their pulse and portraying them in their changing moods.
Pradelli has included only two human figures in his portraits of the islands: Turi the fisherman and Angela, whose simple gestures manage to encapsulate the very essence of life itself. He has chosen to work in black-and-white so as to be able to stress the powerful geometry of the landscape and the faces and in order to highlight the contrast between the white of the sky and the fire and the black of the sea and the land.
Giancarlo Pradelli was born in Modena in 1966 and is still based there. He taught photography at the Istituto d’Arte in Modena until 1994, then moved to the United States where he worked for leading photo studios, exploring the techniques used in black-and-white photography and portraiture. He has been a professional photographer since 1996. His photographs have been published by Life Magazine, Photo, Corriere della Sera, La Stampa, and Specchio. A series of pictures by Pradelli has been included in the collection of contemporary photography in the Bibliothèque Nationale, in Paris.
Gianni Romano is a lecturer in the History of Modern Art at Turin University. He is one of the best known art historians in Italy and his essays have been published by Einaudi and Donzelli.