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By Irene Tondelli

© Irene Tondelli


Anima Mundi is wandering in the dark knowing from the beginning that you will get lost.

It is to be disoriented when all reference points start to be missing.

It is a physical journey into the Peruvian Amazon forest, but it could have happened everywhere - even in the imagination.

It is sweat, strain, restlessness, sacrifice, euphoria.

It is accepting the chaos, with the knowledge that you will not likely find any answers besides the crisis that generated it.

It is finding yourself alien in a natural world that you thought was of comfort. It is the discomfort of knowing that you are at the same time threat and threaten, prey and predator.

It is learning that a break is not the end but the starting point to recreate your own place in the natural environment.

It is to blow up an oppressive place to enlarge the horizon.

It is to understand that a profound reconciliation is often the result of an equally profound initial misunderstanding.


"Just like two train tracks, the words travel and research run parallel.


I think that when we leave, we do it because we are looking for something, newness, amazement, ourselves, memories ... Although the scenarios may be new, we tend to seek for something, consciously or unconsciously, familiar to us within them, something reassuring.


A trip brings with it some expectations, like finding something that we won’t almost certainly find, or recovering something that has passed and which we will hardly be able to regain: an expectation that sometimes drowses in the torpor of nostalgia or sets behind the horizon of a breathtaking landscape.


I would call it affective anthropomorphism, and in the case of memories, a topography of memory. But it is this tension to research that makes us leave and leave again and that vanishes in front of waterfalls, glaciers, endless plains, to make room for the sense of amazement for Nature’s power. It is a sensation very close to the sense of infinity and that clashes with our human condition, our finiteness, but ends up to be comforting: it makes us feel part of something beyond our control, but to which we intrinsically belong.


It is this ambivalence between finite and infinite, fear and amazement, subjective and objective vision, details and wide shots that moves my photographic research of the last years."


Irene Tondelli - b. 1987, Carpi, Italy - graduated from Libera Accademia di Belle Arti in Brescia with a BA in Photography and got a Master from Accademia di Comunicazione in Milano in Art Direction. Her work is focused on outdoor, documentary and interior design photography. In the last few years she teaches photography storytelling classes and workshop around Italy. Irene’s photographs are aimed at capture the relationship between men and nature, landscape and memory. Her work is featured in national and international catalogues, photography websites and magazines. She is mentioned by Gup Magazine and Fresh Eyes in the list of the 100 best emerging photographers in Europe in 2019.



Irene Tondelli participated in PEP's second collective exhibition "On the road". 

For this exhibition of PEP, we asked photographers from all over the world to share pictures of the most special places they have ever been to. This invitation was launched in the middle of the summer: a season which is for many of us synonym of freedom, a chance to hit the road and escape one’s daily routines. So we asked the participating artists to reflect on what makes those moments so special and to share the impressions they encountered throughout the way, from the most diverse angles.


A Muntagna by Irene Tondelli, from the exhibition "On the road"

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