Valeria left her hometown in Italy, L’Aquila, just after her graduation and she moved to England where she lived for nearly 4 years.
During her staying, she had the chance to visit and live in different cities such as Liverpool, Coventry, Birmingham and London.
The series « England « is a collection of the pictures she made during her long travel there before move again, this time to France. For a stranger it is easier to capture the peculiarities of a foreign country and that is what she did. But far from being a mere documentation or depictions of places, England is more of a personal project: a kind of diary where she describes and captures the mood, the atmospheres of the different places she visited during her four years there.
Pushed only by curiosity, she loved to go out and wander through the streets of England without a destination or a special purpose and not really prepared for anything. Discretely, she registered the things she observed with a focus on the perception itself. There is indeed in the pictures a kind of pervasive sense of tranquillity.
It is not about what happens around but how she feels it. A kind of slow street photography where the aim is not to catch the moment but to live it and describe it. In other words, document the relationship and connection with the surrounding urban environment. A relationship that for Valeria, in the case of England, shaped day by day, slowly, as it happens when people leave their own country and move to a totally different place. It takes time, it takes patience, it needs observation, empathy and an open mind.
About Valeria Ranalli
Valeria is an Italian 31-years old photographer currently based in Normandy. Her passion for photography started in 2009, when she went to see “The Americans” of Robert Frank exposed in New York. As enchanted from the power of the pictures, from that day she became obsessed by photography. Autodidact, she mainly focuses on street and fine art photography. Her works have been published on LensCulture and Fubiz among others and she is now looking forward to expose her pictures in galleries.
Valeria moved her first steps exploiting the manual mode of a compact Canon, reading books on photography and looking at millions of pictures from accomplished as well as non-mainstream photographers. Not a fan of the latest fancy gear, in 2011 she got her first reflex and since then she never changed it. For her photography is an intimate thing and that camera become her confidant, her partner, a kind of second self. The only times Valeria betrayed it were with analogue cameras.
For Valeria having the camera with her means a total focus on what is around: colors, lights, shades. Something that doesn’t happen when she is not shooting, as if the camera itself could help entering in an awareness state.
Not always people oriented and introspective by nature, what she tries to convey with her photographs are moods or ambience and to express her inner feelings. Some times the shots are spontaneous and gritty; she sees something that catches her eyes and she shots. One shot, as a blink of the eyes. Other times the pictures are more elaborated, composed, in case of her self-portraits even staged. She prefers just to go out and seek pictures in the flow of daily life, without having a precise objective or purpose in mind and then collect afterwards all the pictures that have something in common or convey a particular message, as in the case of the series England presented here or Inner City blues, an on-going long-term project where she collects pictures made on the edge of the cities of sites, objects or situations that carry their own stories: “neo-noir”, blues stories. [Official Website]