In Greek mythology, Britomarti is a nymph that Minos fell madly in love with and that, in order to escape him, changes her shape and appearance until she turns into sea foam. A tragic character in her determination and awareness who prefers to disperse in the most elusive element known rather than succumbing to the lure of an unwanted love. Britomarti is also the name of the project of the young photographer Irene Trancossi who raises the Hellenic nymph as an archetype of women’s struggle to claim their own identity detached from male gaze, but there’s something more: “Britomarti” is a hymn to sisterhood, to women communion, to the unity of an ancestral generative force that the photographer celebrates through shots immersed in nature in which modern nymphs move freely in pristine contexts, free from the male gaze, enjoying their own freedom.
And it is precisely the familiarity that binds the portrayed women, part of Irene’s family: from the particular to the universal, Britomarti wants to be not only a journey towards the discovery of themselves, but above all an invitation to sharing, to the union between women. Irene’s lens is tight, moving between delicacy and boldness, without ever violating the pride of the bodies: all that emerges is an self awareness, in a dialogue between Women and Nature, almost in an ideal and inevitable and long awaited encounter.
It seems like we can perceive the saltiness, to touch that foam of sea reminiscent of an archetypal heroine, to touch the earth and to inhale the freedom of a rediscovered identity. Sisterhood becomes the balm that smooths the wounds and that allows to overcome pain and trauma linked to a distorted and patriarchal vision of the female condition and body: a contemporary fairy tale in which the body tells, Nature listens, the heart finds peace. Through this project at the limits of the sacredness of an ancestral ritual, Irene finds her way to deepen her research, based on sisterhood, feminism, inclusiveness and listening.
Ph. courtesy Irene Trancossi