On This Side of the Mountain
When I was seventeen I fell in love with Laura.
Then I met her family, and the way they lived fascinated me. Twenty years ago, Laura’s parents, Anne and Ben, came to Abdet, a small village in the Alicante mountains in Spain. There they began to build a house from the ruins of an abandoned stable, deep in a valley, just below a threatening ridge called ‘The Crag’. They built their home stone by stone, expanding it as the family grew, using rocks that fell from the mountain to construct not only the house, but a corral for animals and ponds to irrigate their land. They live in perfect harmony with their environment, respecting their place in nature and altering the landscape as little as possible.
At Abdet I made my first photographic experiments. This place has always been where I returned after every trip documenting far communities around the world. There I always found my family, my love and my refuge.
I started taking pictures at the same time I met Laura. For this reason, my relationship with photography has always been linked to the place where her family lives. Living in the middle of nature makes you make aware of your position in the world, to see the world in a properly scale and relativize the problems that arise in life. For this reason with this project I wanted to take an introspective turn to my work, documenting my immediate environment, exploring the strong relationships between love, family and land.
This photographs are visual interpretations of existing things, real feelings and thoughs. There we find humanity in all its states, wrought with imagination. To trasmit the emotions and tensions, typical from the familiar relationships, I had to enter into a psycological world that we can´t see. Not reality, but not direct fantasy either. More of a long and slow dance between the two worlds. Then I was able to make a poetic and visual map of my surroundings, recognizing fragments of a family memory not yet written, collecting the moments I hold close, those that make us reflect on our own lives and answer essential questions about what a family is.