Take a breath, you will need it to immerse yourself in Isabella Sommati‘s world.
Born in 1966, Isabella was born in Livorno and after her studies, she moved to Milan, where she still lives and works as Art Director. She has always been attracted by the world of photography and after having studied it closely thanks to her profession, a few years ago she decided to dedicate her free time to the art of the camera.
This gave birth to impressive shots and, over time, Isabella has developed a style suitable for her favorite subjects, such as water and women.
Incurious, we at Collater.al asked her some questions, don’t miss our interview below!
How did the first approach with photography happen?
I am an Art Director with experience in the world of photography. For work, I have edited a lot of photos, from color to digital. It was inevitable that I wanted to go deeper, without of course overlapping the professionals.
The first photographic projects were immature, very intimate, but I don’t deny them, it was a necessary path to be able to consciously photograph the micro-world around me.
Often at the center of your photographs, there is a female figure. What is femininity for you and what aspects of it do you want to tell with your shots?
I consider femininity an identity.
The woman is sensuality, fragile, fickle. She is creative, innovative, combative. I would like you to perceive through my shots this multitude of colours that is our strength, from abyssal black to solar white, a marvellous colour whose subtlest nuances we ourselves discover day by day.
Another recurring element is water. What role does it play in your work and what does it represent?
The sea was the companion of my walks and the guardian of my return from school in winter. I am moved by its immensity, the stability of the horizon, the noise of the tides, which advance and retreat like in a Satie score
While living in Milan I got to know the swimming pools, the summer in the city, a bit bitter water, but still a weekend getaway.
The water has a healing function: it cleanses, soothes or becomes an escape route. In water there are no thoughts but only dreams.
Where do you get the inspiration for your personal projects? Are there photographers and/or artists you follow?
Some projects have been built with a precise idea, such as “Alveare”, a reportage about a women’s football team registered at the CSI championship in Milan. Others looking around me like “Mare Nero”, there are projects that have been enriched over the years by other shots (“Acqua”). Sometimes by chance, watching small summer videos, from which I extrapolate frames that I rework.
Working mainly in black and white, I seek inspiration in the photography of Ackerman or Aue Sobol, in the visual poetry of Botman. Mendieta and Woodman helped me to get to know myself both as a woman and as an artist.
Tell us about a shot to which you are particularly attached.
Every photo is part of me. But I think the shot I’m particularly attached to is “ACQUA # Ogni Giorno Io Rinasco”. This photograph tells of my rebirth after a period of emptiness, of absence. Here is all my poetics: woman and water, dream and reality, weakness and strength to be reborn.