My temporary studio is the terrace at the top of the house I’m occupying for the duration of my Pietrafitta Residency. It’s here that I read, write, think and do experiments with light sensitive paper.

Lest I lose track of the day, the church bells, located a few metres from the house, chime every quarter of an hour from 7.00am to 9.00pm. Their repetition and tone relay the hours and minutes.

By happenchance, my previous project at St Augustine’s Derry investigated the nature of time. My research included both historical and contemporary interpretations encompassing quantum physics, philosophy, theology and mathematics.

Here, in this small village situated in the Valle di Comino, how I experience time and duration has to an extent been pared back to the tolling of bells. My working methods have also been pared back by self-imposed restrictions.

For the length of my stay I am eschewing all things digital in favour of analogue. My digital camera has been replaced with disposables, pinhole, polaroid and cyanotype. I swapped my laptop for a notebook and pen.

This requires a substantial change in mindset. These methods of image-making are more sensitive to light conditions – exposure times are proving difficult. There isn’t the luxury of taking multiple images to get ‘perfect’ results as materials and resources are limited.

Productivity is slow and outcomes are unpredictable. I’m unsure of what I’m doing and where the work is going.

I am, it would seem, chasing shadows.



Digital photographs by Paola Bernardelli