With “Lanzarote” I intend to document my experience and visionary interpretation of the island of Lanzarote and its unique landscape. In this body of work, I create a visual world that encourages the viewer to reflect on how landscape is, or should be, understood today. By combining personal photographs of the island with hand-made 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 nature is perceived and represented has dramatically changed over the past few years.

What we are seeing in this series appears to be pure nature, with no trace of man whatsoever. Yet these images are entirely artificial, a man-made reverie of “nature.” The act of recycling a landscape into another one gives me the illusion of creating a brand-new scenario, exempt from human experience.

Lake © Giovanna Petrocchi, Juror’s Pick, LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2017

In depicting this undiscovered place, beyond space and time, my use of different techniques is fundamental in order to translate a feeling of in-betweenness into the photographic process. The juxtaposition of traditional, handmade collage with more complex, digitalized interventions places the artistic process in limbo (much in the same way my enigmatic nature is positioned right now, in an uncertain historical and geological context).

In this constructed world, the animal-shaped sculptures represent the only inhabitants of Lanzarote. These creatures, made of the same matter as the earth, are antique, noble and poor at the same time. They are also ancient and new, almost platonic concepts of future animals. Despite being made thousands of years ago, each sculpture is incredibly modern in shape. Their stylized silhouettes can be compared to contemporary representations of animals. Ultimately, their unusual features offer a contrast with the melancholy and desolation provoked by each of the landscapes.

—Giovanna Petrocchi

This project was singled out by the jury of the Emerging Talent Awards 2017. Discover all of the inspiring projects from this year’s 50 talents!