Past Present Italy

Italy has a certain style and elegance that cannot truly be captured in pictures. The mix of culture, food, fashion, architecture, religion and a legacy so steeped in significant European history has culminated in a rich, thick, gravy of sensory and visual delights for photographers.

I was going through my archives in search of staircase pictures recently (see Simply Stairs ) and discovered several collections of images I have taken over the years in Rome, Venice, Tuscany and elsewhere.  I managed to select these to illustrate what I mean. It is also different from France, another country which I have visited a lot.












Featured Artist : Caroline Gavazzi


I visited Caroline’s exhibition at The Brick Lane Gallery yesterday and thought I’d make a quick post about this amazing double exhibition of her last two projects, since the display will only be up for a short period, this weekend! At the front of the gallery, her recent work titled Tropical Sighs is a series of photographs taken through greenhouse glass of tropical plants. The works are all printed on art paper and appears painterly. The dirt and condensation from the internal surfaces of the glasshouse add layers of vibrant texture to the plant studies and gives them a unique look. Read her statement here . I was also intrigued by the way she boxed framed all her prints in clear perspex, perhaps creating another second ‘equilibrium-environment’ which has already been subjected to the living plants via the greenhouse.

The back of the gallery displays her earlier project titled We Are Here. This is a conceptual portraiture series depicting headshots in black and white of settled refugees from a small village in Calabria, Italy called Riace, where the town mayor, one Domenico Lucano, in 1999, welcomed the arriving Kurdish migrants off a boat. He managed to house them in the many empty homes in his shrinking village and through his ingenuity, persuaded the home owners to sell their properties to him for the purpose of providing migrant housing, to this day, is one of the success stories in the larger refugee crisis.

The portraits are all displayed, once again with the use of a transparent perspex layer of an enlarged fingerprint in front of the person – to symbolise giving back identities to what is often, faceless and stateless refugees, since we know that no two fingerprints are ever alike, and every print (and face) is a person of uniqueness.

Powerful stuff.


Caroline Gavazzi is a French/ Italian photographer who lived in London for over 20 years and currently resides between Milan and London.

Caroline presented a Slide Share talk at LightGallery in 2013 and since then, she worked at Spéos Photography School in London. She has Masters in Professional Photography Practice from LCC and also studied photography at Spéos in Paris.


Current Exhibition 

Tropical Sighs & We Are Here

5 – 10 July, 2017 Daily 10 – 6pm

The Brick Lane Gallery, 216 Brick Ln, London E1 6SB

More Featured Artists here

At the feet of Saints

A fleeting trip to Dublin straight after returning from Malaysia, to visit an elderly and very sick friend from the religious community.  In my life, I have confronted death in close family only 4 times and on each occasion, notwithstanding a profound sorrow, which is to be expected, new revelations are also experienced.

Death, is often unspoken nor discussed within my family, as I can imagine, in most families. Yet, it is as common as births and marriages, both joyous occasions to be cherished. In Catholicism, it is a notion that all suffering is part of a greater plan, an acceptance is a virtue. But as humans we succumb to the frailty of disease, age and doubt, all of which are inevitable, and suffering is part of a journey of acceptance and discovery. We see loved ones wither away, when their minds were still able but their bodies weren’t.

Our journeys have just begin.



Virgin, Ronciglione


A brief afternoon tour of some nearby medieval hill towns in northern Rome, took me to the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Catherine, in Ronciglione in Viterbo on my third day. This statue of the Virgin with the crown of 12 Stars represents the Woman in the Apocalypse in the Book of Revelation.

Corso Vittorio Emanuele II


I have been to Rome several times, and each time, a new experience surfaces. Depending on the time of the year and the season, Rome either attracts or repel me. In the height of summer, you can literally be smothered with dust and the heavy air with the stifling heat, but in the winter months, the city can be serene and grand. Actually it is always grand. Like a living museum, the city and the Romans who live here provides a visual entertainment, full of historicities, stylish fashion and the typical reserved warmth of Italians. Rome of course is a city steeped in history, and a crossroads of peoples from all over, a meeting point and a cultural mishmash. Not least, due to the fact that Vatican City, the seat of the Catholic Church welcomes millions of pilgrims from all over the globe throughout year, especially in the warmer months.

Tuscan’d out : Day 4

Feeling slightly below weather, having the chills and aching joints wasn’t fun, on the last day of our Tuscany workshop. The gelato in Italy is really that good, also. We are all back safe and sound now. Thank you, all.

Tuscany Workshop : Day 3


Imagination. Running Wild. Saw these dead wild thorn flowers on some farmland whilst photographing the typical Tuscan landscape at dusk, on the way back from Bolgheri, on the coast.

Tuscany Workshop : Day 2


Monteriggioni is on the Pilgrim’s Route from Canterbury to Rome, and is a fortified outpost that protected Siena from the enemy, Florence during the 12th century. This was a grab shot taken again from a moving vehicle showing the ramparts of the city.

A blazing hot day on the Piazza del Campo, Siena. Siena, a tourist magnet has some magnificent buildings, but I was tempted away from the architecture and focussed on the people.