Filippo M. Nicoletti
University: University of South Wales, Newport
Genre: Contemporary Documentary
And the fancy was this: are not the sane and the insane equal at night as the sane lie a dreaming? Charles Dickens, Night Walks (1857)
During the night hours Cardiff shows its side less known, in particular around the River Taff (pre-Celtic name signify dark in the double meaning of obscure and deceiver). The idea is to describe through images the fleeting edge of real and unreal, of dream and reality, showing the area of the river which divide two of the most important districts of Cardiff: Grangetown and Cardiff Bay.
Snapshots, life moments frozen by the camera’s flash following the concept explained by Susan Sontag of “memento mori”, for which every single photograph represents the implacability of time. In contrast of it, the river represents the idea of “tempus fugit” and life's flow, where nothing is the same but everything changes.
What are some standout moments from your time at university? The day I met my colleagues. I was intimidated and curious at the same time to hear their experience and what they know about photography.
Which photographic genre do you consider your work to fall into? I think my genre is Contemporary Documentary, in the way I document a specific area and I try to make it mine.
What themes do you find yourself exploring? I try to explore the edge between real and unreal using the photographic medium, and I wanted to avoid the cliches and the stereotypes.
How did this series come to the surface? What initially inspired you? I was inspired by the book Night Walks by Charles Dickens. This book talks about a night journey made by Dickens around London’s streets, describing every single situation which he witnessed.
What equipment did you use to make this series? Was it important to your way of working? I used a Leica R4, 35mm lens, a small flash Metz and lots of Ilford HP5. This equipment was incredibly helpful for its robustness and dependability.
What do your inspirations come from? I studied lots of photographers before I begun to shoot. Some being Daido Moryama and Weegee. Both impressed me for their style.
Do you know the people in your images? What would you like for them to think of your work? I didn’t know the people in the images, I just asked they to take a picture. Usually, they were really glad to cooperate.
What encouraged you to study for an MA in Documentary Photography in the UK? I was encouraged by the greatest name of the school and the high level of the teachers. Moreover, the opportunity to improve my initial knowledge in a university was another important point.
Where do you see your work taking you in the future? I think the field of photo-books and editorial in general could be a good way to take my work.
Have you exhibited this work? If so, how did you show it? I exhibited my work in Cardiff, at Jacobs Market and other photo-galleries in Italy. I handprinted 20, 10x12 inch black and white prints. The images were spread inside a thin black frame, to give more emphasis to the image it self.
Have you got any tips for getting your work seen? Yes. For example tips about the way to show it: not just in papery form, but also on web platform.