I spent the Summer of 2015 in Orvieto, Italy as an Intern for the Studio for Art, Faith & History. Before arriving in Orvieto to begin work, I spent a week touring around Rome. The photos I chose for below were taken in Saint Peter's Basilica and the Pantheon. I found myself fascinated not only by the marvelous architecture, but how the groups of tourists interacted with their surroundings, specifically light. The images of the young boy and the older woman were entirely candid. Part of the role of the artist is to hold a mirror up to culture. So, the remaining images, while they do feature tourists encountering light, are meant to serve as a commentary on the loss of authentic, present experience.
Here are some images from a walk that I took on one rainy afternoon in Orvieto towards the end of my stay. Due to the Summer months and the way that the town is constructed, the light can be tricky. For someone who is good at managing contrast, direct sunlight and shadows, it is ideal. I am not. We attended a Vesper's service of the nuns at Bon Jesu that evening. You approach the church of Bon Jesu and immediately are hit with the scent of fresh jasmine which encircles the huge, wooden doors. I usually picked some and tucked it in my hair or behind my ear upon entering. I can barely sit still for the thirty minutes that the nuns are chanting, praying and reading, but I am learning. Jessina and I made some beautiful images in the drizzling rain and continued to talk about relationships, Orvieto, art, travel and life. It had been such a new experience, entering into such a wealth of beauty and feeling that I didn’t have to capture every part of it immediately because I had time to experience it through my eyes before experiencing it through my lens. It was a joy to indulge with my camera- it really did cause me to visually recover the parts of town that simply fell under my “commute to work”.
These two photos were taken at Lake Bolsena (which served as a sweet refuge from this past Summer's heat wave) and Rome. It took a friend to point out that they were quite similar compositionally. Upon submitting to a Gordon College art exhibition, I enlisted the help of Hannah Wardell to put words to my latest series "Liberated Women":
"The greatest act of agency is an act of submission, in this radical giving up of self she is now fully liberated to the kingdom of God and to the fullest version of herself, caught up in Christ and unhindered by the world"
Gianna is a junior Communication Arts major at Gordon College. More of her work can be found at her personal website, giannanicole.photography