Alessandra’s practice focuses on landscape photography and the relationship between people and the environment.
What’s the significance of the image you have chosen and how does it relate to your practice?
Central to my work is the exploration of creative processes and how these are affected by cultural identities. I am interested in how other countries and cultures can trigger imagination, nostalgia and escapism and how this can be visually translated into something that echoes a particular place or pure imagination. The resulting approximation becomes in turn interpretation, whereas misinterpretation becomes an act of fantasy based on our perception rather than stemming from our actual knowledge.
To quote a book I recently read: “The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there” (L.P Hartley). I started to take photos of flowers to celebrate my grandmother’s life, along with gathering existing negatives of her. Additionally, I am asking family members to recollect stories of her life, while each family member has different versions of the same story. So something is lost, maybe what some might call the truth, and what we are left with is our individual and combined perception of a time and a place that exist only in our reimagined memories.
What new medium or project are you introducing to your practice and why have you chosen it?
Salt printing, cyanotypes and other more general darkroom practices. I am very keen to combine new with old technologies. From digital photography and historic photographic processes to video, I am exploring different modes of representation and the type of narratives it can create. For me, salt printing was a challenge, as I actually had only little experience in the darkroom, while this approach is even slower with less control over the outcome. What I am developing is a new, alternative mindset that liberates me from my usual professional habits.
What was the main motivation behind your application to the LCN programme?
It provides an excellent context to learn new skills, develop new ways of working and network with a wide range of interesting photographers. All this triggers an exchange of information and growth.
What is the most useful advice or tips you’ve been given on the programme so far?
All the workshops I’ve attended have been very useful and informative. It’s worth attending as many as you can! The sessions that have had most direct personal consequence were the salt printing workshop and the introduction to applying for funding, something which I am currently working on. In general, all the workshops I have attended have been critical to achieving my goals.
What plans do you have after finishing the LCN programme?
I would like to continue developing my practice, possibly exhibiting the work I have produced during the programme. I hope to finalise a successful fundraising strategy and look into residency opportunities.