Paola Finali - mountain books
From macro photography to landscape
Paola Finali new book
Shots of views and small details join forces and remind us of the perfection and power of nature, immersed in its silence. A simple beauty which becomes extraordinary, with colours and shapes which lead us to enjoy pure pleasure: grabbing the beauty nature has to offer us.
“In every walk through nature man receives much more than what he is looking for.” John Muir
From contemplation to action, from the never-ending small to the endlessly big.
Oppressed by the frenzy of every day life, from problems to solve and the many things to do, it’s as if contemporary man never allows himself the luxury to stop and contemplate what is beautiful: a starry sky on a clear night, the colours of the woods in the morning fog, a bud swaying in the wind, the light of a white winter sky. A world which is infinitely close and right in front of us but infinitely far.
In the olden days the concept of contemplation was understood as purely intellectual, and the real and supreme knowledge which not only leads to pure knowledge but to a virtuous life. Such activity, only man’s, is enjoyed for itself, in contrast with practical activities aimed at action.
The ideal contemplative life dedicated to knowledge, introduced by many modern and ancient philosophical trends, has often clashed with a more practical lifestyle based on work and production, one almost excluding the presence of the other. But in contemporary man’s life these two concepts are not necessarily in contrast. They can co-exist in mutual reciprocity.
Paola Finali’s book is an example of this. The energy and efforts spent photographing the mountains she loves so deeply, have no material purpose.
«This book has no other pretension than to be a simple homage to nature and the mountains »
This volume comes from her attitude towards nature, a spiritual attitude without reasoning, without a defined route, but through acts of intellectual knowledge (searching for, observing, establishing) which involve her entire being, including her emotional sphere, with a peaceful harmony between subject and object.
«When I photograph nature time stands still as I look beyond the surface which is normally observed by others»
It is not enough to conceptually investigate the nature of mountains, action is the supreme act which gives worth and meaning to any sort of contemplation. The means by which Paola Finali shares the search for her knowledge and truth is through photography, a form of expressive art and aesthetics which, for her personally, is a source of interest, practical activity, work. The contemplation through which Paola Finali describes “A dandelion in bud ready to open up to the world” or “the geometry of a spider’s web in the undergrowth” are the prerequisites for true action, and action, vice versa requires true contemplation.
«Nature never stops surprising me and I continue chasing it and finding peace within it. »
In contemplating nature, we recognize in Paola Finali’s photos the beauty and magnificence of the universe and the intimate relations between its different parts. A glance stops to penetrate the infinitely small and boundlessly great. This is where one should not stop at appearances but go in depth. The hazy landscapes enveloping the rocks, the imposing Sass dla Crusc, the moon’s magnetic light on the lake of Limo interpose with the pine needles, ice crystals, the spores of fern and rain drops. On the one hand the extreme, the end, on the other hand the imperceptible, the minuscule. In front of these two gulfs the question is “What is man’s role in nature?”
«I love losing myself in nature trying to represent its power and magnificence, from a majestic landscape to a small detail.
Everything is connected. No aspect of life can be extrapolated from its context. At the centre of thought we find the relationship between the different parts of nature and man, even if we don’t see any human beings in the photos apart from the research itself.
The search for knowledge through the contemplation of nature instils beauty and optimism on to life. This is the alluring message contained in Paola Finali’s volume.
«A book of contemplation on the place where I always find refuge, peace and wellbeing.»