Tommaso Sartori | Iceland

Born in Padova in 1967 and currently living in Paris, Tommaso Sartori showed an early talent for photography, receiving an honorary mention at the Torino’s Biennale. After completing his studies in visual communication, Sartori first dedicated himself to architectural and design photography, receiving ordered commissions from international magazines and architectural businesses. Uncontent, Tommaso Sartori began an ongoing personal project of photographic research and experimentation. His latest commission, Iceland, combines these elements of architecture and innovation into a collection of dark beauty.

The Landscape of Iceland

The major focus of the collection is on the Icelandic landscape. Expressed in the monochrome palette of Sartori, the Icelandic landscape permeates with tension and power. Clouds sit on the shoulders of plutonic mountains, the landscape devoid of life, save a few sparse growths of vegetation. A heavy vapour shoots through the cracks of the earth, a connection to the underworld. Pillars of stone, the finger bones of a long-dead giant, erupt through a glacial lake. The sun, microscopic and dulled, shines over the slow break of the ocean.

Allegorical Photography

Sartori punctuates the collection of landscape photography with images of life. A steepled building of black wood sits in the emptiness, its three white windows stare back at the viewer. Crossed bones sit in a black void. Several photos of a owl, interpretable as both dead and alive, watchful hunter and fallen angel. A skeleton of a house sits on a pile of stones, long since abandoned, tufts of grass signify the passage of time and decay. Sartori ends the work with a gravesite dominated by a foreboding black hill. Tomasso Sartori has created a stunning collection, a representation of Iceland torn between life and death, between the human and the natural. Sartori has turned Iceland into the resting place of its myths, their waves permeating through and from the very landscape of Iceland.

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Words | Rob Woodgate