Photography: 1celand by Irene Tondelli

Photographer: Irene Tondelli ( Instagram )


I am a documentary and travel photographer based in Northern Italy. I also work as an art director in the field of interior design. In the last few years I worked in advertising agencies but I am now focusing on photography, my true love.

Taking pictures helps me to investigate my intimate relationship with places, like an inner dialogue that takes shape through images. I am interested in the relation between spaces and the people who live in them. The human figure rarely appears in my pictures. I find documenting the passage of people more interesting than their physical presence.

I like the greek word “theoros”, which primarily means looking at things, whether with the eyes or with the mind. I try to look at the world with this kind of mood, entering a close relation with what I see: I think that in many cases it’s what makes a photograph something destined to last in time.

I take inspiration from traditional Italian photography, the work of masters like Luigi Ghirri, Olivo Barbieri and Franco Vaccari. Their subjects are very familiar to me, places where I grew up, something that’s in my blood, like a sort of natural heritage. I also love words by Joseph Conrad, William Golding, movies by Federico Fellini, David Lynch, Paolo Sorrentino, Michelangelo Antonioni and Peter Greenaway. I don’t know if they really have something in common, but I think that what I find interesting in their work is the feeling of nostalgia, the great meaning they give to silence; a silence that has a rhythm, that in a certain way, talks to the spectator.

1celand is a series about my trip in Iceland. I slept in tent, cooked in a camp stove and traveled by car all around the country. The number 1 in the title is significant because it was my first real journey, a new start for me. It’s a work about the human relation with Mother Earth, the contrast between open wide spaces and residential areas, the freedom to rediscover naiveté. It had been a very intimate journey; in these open lands I found magic, strength, fear, peacefulness, mixed and intense feelings that I hope I have reflected in my pictures. I think that feeling of being unarmed and tiny towards nature is in a certain way really reassuring. It makes you taste something bigger and powerful than youself, it brings you closer to infinity.

In the future I am planning a reportage trip in Scotland mainly by bike. I’ve just started to think about it so I don’t have clear idea yet, but it will surely be a follow-up of my photographic work about Northern Europe.












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