Kirchen in Südtirol

What drives a person to enter a Church? The search for spirituality, a moment of inner reflection, shelter from weather conditions, curiosity... faith? 

Whatever the reason, once in, that person cannot help but be surrounded by art, whether it is a cathedral or simply a small church. He or she will enjoy visual and spiritual emotion coming from the architecture, the paintings and statues shrouded in the silence and light of a mystical and fascinating environment that will thrill even those who do not live in the faith. 

The approach to the Churches of South Tyrol project comes from my trips to beautiful places, where the strong presence of religious traditions over the centuries has given rise to the creation of many small worship places, real treasures of the local sacred culture hosting masterpieces in the form of frescoes, paintings and polychrome sculptures. It is hard to find a region in central Europe this rich in art, a gathering land of artists from Italy and Germany who enriched each other by following the major currents of the old continent to reach the apex with works of extraordinary beauty. 

The interesting aspects of the South Tyrolean art are contained in its polyphonic and multi-faceted tradition which is reflected in the variety of its forms of art. All who enter these sacred places, furnished and decorated with great care, even in the smallest details, will enjoy this still admirably preserved heritage. A heritage consisting of frescoes, statues and paintings: the means used by humans in an attempt to unite heaven and earth, the material world with the spiritual world. 

It is sometimes in isolated places surrounded by the purest nature and other times alongside the most famous tourist routes, always in the midst of beautiful landscapes that little churches and chapels arise where art and environment merge in an admirable uniqueness. It is often in little places that great treasures are hidden, places that must be searched for and discovered, where the passion for art brings visitors back again and again because one glance is just enough to mark the beginning of the next trip. 

In these sacred spaces, where the sacred is synonymous with health, it is possible to achieve inner peace and balance and find comfort, new strength and infinite peace from this. This project stems precisely from my research into art, beauty and peace, fuelled by all these variables, after numerous stays in this beautiful and hospitable land. 

My predilection for black and white photography has suffered a real loss, the eye accustomed to the dimension of the gray scales had to get used to the purity of colors - more suited to the artistic message - so much as to push me to break my well-established style. The colors, sometimes tenuous at times brilliant, stimulated my artistic vision so intensely and surprised me with new potential. 

With my photographs I tried to bring to life, at least in part, that peace and beauty that touches the soul of those who visit these sacred refuges of the South Tyrol. Peace and Beauty: it’s impossible not to feel this connection for those who come to the realisation that art, even in its simplest forms, manages to elevate each of us with its beauty.

These are sixteen pictures from project Kirchen in Südtirol