We are not Islands
Project info

In "We are not islands", Ordóñez shows us more than twenty poetic landscapes close to abstraction, with a markedly reflexive and transforming intention. The photographs of this series, created from simple shapes, capture the simple beauty of the islands, beauty that has the ability to move us and connect with the purity of nature. Landscapes that, symbolically, represent the telluric link between all human beings.

Island: Portion of land surrounded by water. And also an area clearly separated from the surrounding space, in stations, airports, public roads, etc.

Thus we see ourselves too often: as islands, separated and disconnected from the rest of humanity. Surrounded by an empty space that, in a illusive way, protects us from a society that we believe hostile.

But the reality is different. The islands don’t float in the sea, they are lands that emerge from the earth's crust and are connected to the solid part of the planet. In the same way, all human beings are interconnected much more than we can imagine, and also with nature itself.

We are not islands and neither are the islands themselves.

Thomas Merton, writer, theologian and mystic (1915-1968), in 1955 wrote: "No man is an island". In this book he describes our deep and invisible connection with the people around us and with all the mankind, no matter how we try to get away, isolate or disassociate ourselves from others.

"We are not islands, we are part of a society, and even if we don't suspect it, even if we don't want it, even if we try to avoid it, our actions ―of any sign― have a direct or indirect repercussion on others and on our environment. And conversely, those same people, our social environment and the news that comes from the most distant places, affect in one way or another our thinking, what we feel and how we act."

"Nothing, absolutely nothing makes sense, if we don’t admit that people are not islands, independent of each other; every person is a piece of the continent, a part of the whole." (Thomas Merton, 1955).

How to transfer this idea from logos to photographic language?

Unexpectedly, a possible answer came to me on a trip to the Canary Islands. Absorbed by the vision of the vast ocean -sometimes raging and at times quiet-, and of the latent fire present in the volcanic rocks, I felt more connected than ever with my visible and invisible environment. Contemplating the pure and true beauty, I began to experience the bond that Merton was talking about. (C. Ordóñez)

The seas that apparently separate us, are the same seas that give us life and that have allowed the connection between all the cultures of the Earth. Islands rocks, apparently disconnected from the rest of the world, continue to show their indissoluble union with the earth's crust in their volcanic past.

The project "We are not islands" plays with the apparent contradiction between the title itself and the places where the works are created (always on islands), with the aim of activating our critical spirit and the ability to question established paradigms.

His poetic landscapes, in a symbolic way, represent the telluric link between all human beings. They show us a simple beauty ―almost abstract― that has the capacity to move us and connect us with the purity of nature and the vital energy of the Earth. A beauty that reminds us that, as members of the whole, we are also part of its essence. We are also nature.