Alberto Peola Arte Contemporanea

Here, again is a series of portraits of mothers carrying their ten-month-old children in their arms. They have been photographed by Paola De Pietri in the street or sometimes on the edge of a country road near their homes.
 

In these pieces, we can find two of the recurrent themes that characterise her work: the unexpected uniqueness of the setting and the experience. To these can be added the idea of intersection, where the vertical line of family descendents (one generation that leads on to another) crosses the horizontal line defined by the contours of the landscape. In this series of work the peculiarity of the natural surroundings, or rather, the strange environments (both inhabited spaces and urban landscapes) is once again highlighted by certain images where the landscape - cultivated or natural - contains no human presence.
Paola De Pietri chooses her backgrounds very carefully: the women portrayed have been photographed beyond the protective perimeter of their homes, standing in the street or in the middle of a public space - nowadays part of the social space. The importance of these surrounding spaces, where the women are exhibiting their bodies, lends a sense of vulnerability to the subjects. Their apparent solitude renders them highly conscious of themselves. The settings where they are posing help to create the identity and individuality of their, still fragile, children. 

From the essay by Frits Gierstberg, in Images au Centre, 2003, Edition du patrimoine

February 8 - March 31, 2005