Favignana is an island of the Egadi archipelago, located a few miles from the western coast of Sicily, Italy. The variation of the sea level that tens of thousands of years since, during the glaciations, has submerged the island, has formed a layer of over 200 meters of marine sediment formed by molluscs and corals, generating one of the riches of the island: the Favignana tuff, which is a light, almost white and very compact calcarenite already known by the Romans as a building material. This precious rock was excavated and extracted for hundreds of years in the numerous man-made quarries, which came to be very deep, up to sea level, to obtain a better quality of compactness and grain of the material. The extraction of this white tuff was the island’s main resource until a few decades ago.
Underground caves, labyrinths and cliffs, which seems to be giant sculptures, now draw an aggressive and spectacular landscape, altered by erosion and human interventions. Natural and man-made elements have thus transformed this island into a place that is at times grim, like that of a field after battle.
I tried to represent this atmosphere by working on the concept of alteration and stratification, therefore on the same process that formed and characterized this island. I therefore wanted to experiment with an approach that could make the material and natural elements of Favignana interact with the photographs. Just as the land has been altered by wind, sea and rock quarrying, I have allowed these same elements to alter the negatives I have shot there. Limestone, sand and seawater salt have been brought into contact with the photographic emulsion, leaving traces of a new landscape, each time in a different and unpredictable way.