In September 2018, step into the beautiful Chiostro dei Cipressi cloister of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini in Venice to view a photographic ode to craftsmanship. Italian photographer and artist Susanna Pozzoli had the privilege of photographing master artisans from Venice and the Veneto region, especially for Homo Faber. Glassblowers and shoemakers, weavers and gondolas makers, metalworkers and lacemakers… artisans from 21 workshops opened their doors to allow Pozzoli to observe them at work. Through her lens she captured the critical moments within the process of creation, the tools, materials and gestures that contribute to making a thing of beauty. The result is a poem in pictures, an homage to craftsmanship and the vast artisanal richness of Venice and Veneto.


PHOTOGRAPHING THE HEART OF THE MATTER

It takes an artisan to know an artisan. No stranger to the world of craftsmanship, Susanna Pozzoli took an artisanal approach to her photography, using analogue film to craft her photographs in a similarly precise, disciplined way. Working in harmony with those she photographed, Pozzoli and her camera witnessed not only the process of creation but the passion, commitment and devotion that Venetian artisans have for their work. A commitment that drives glassworkers to begin work at 4am because it’s cooler, a devotion that pushes master artisans to pound gold leaf until it’s many thousand times thinner than paper…


A JOURNEY THROUGH THE CREATIVE PROCESS

Displayed around the walls of the beautiful cloister, Pozzoli’s photographs illustrate important aspects of craftsmanship, revealing the details, colors, textures and atmosphere in the workshops she visited. We see the raw materials, the base from which all artisans work, and the context – the wonderfully shabby boatyard where wooden gondolas are made in the traditional way, the intimacy of the cabinet maker’s workshop. We see the tools that are critical to the work – the tailor’s scissors, the shoemaker’s hammer. Lastly, we glimpse the gestures of the artisan, whose mastery of these tools and techniques brings the object to life. By inviting us into these fascinating workshops in such an artistic way, Pozzoli’s photos pose questions, spark our imagination and allow us to see craftsmanship in a new light.

From the PRESS RELEASE of the exhibition VENETIAN WAY in HOMO FABER Crafting a more human future, international event by Michelangelo Foundation for Creativity and Craftsmanship, taking place at Fondazione Giorgio Cini on san Giorgio Island in Venice, September 14-30, 2018.

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