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Vacant Scenery

Vacant Scenery
Vacant Scenery: scenes of the mind
di Livia Savorelli

A modern storyteller in images, Aqua Aura floats with masterly ease through space, represented by that creative magma offered by new technologies.
Beginning with photography - conceived not in a traditional sense but as an essential tool for ‘probing visionary acts’, in a tireless pursuit of scenes, landscapes, views that arouse emotion, that immortalise a moment - Aqua Aura captures, classifies and samples, in a vortex of “search by images”.
In this process the photographic medium is just that - a medium, a mere instrument with which to begin the cognitive journey, a necessary and fundamental prerequisite for carrying out this act of deconstruction of the image and its subsequent rebirth into a new life, which is the signature style of the artist.
The journey comes first, then, and the camera second. The search for the ideal location, often at the edge of the world, the frame and the extraordinary possibilities offered by the landscape are the first stage of this process, which begins at the point where man bows down to nature. To Aqua Aura this represents the embryonic stage of research - as a modern-day wanderer he dives into it; through photography he documents it. It is only after returning from this journey that the actual creative phase begins. The artist turns his attention and his mind towards other shores, this time exclusively mental, and ventures into imaginary worlds, exploring alternative paths and landscapes, imaginary trajectories, which originate and fluctuate in the inscrutable world of creation, acting as “an envoy of the world beyond, in a new world built with the criteria of vision and imagination, the last frontier left to explore”.
The desire to challenge physical boundaries and natural barriers and face the risks and challenges of a world that is regarded as mysterious because it is distant, unknown and unexplored, has for centuries been the primitive urge that, in every era up until the last industrial revolution, caused man to undertake dangerous and seemingly impossible journeys for the sake of reaching one single coveted goal: knowledge.
In today’s world this word seems to have lost its intrinsic meaning, as modern technology makes it possible, with one simple click, to access information and images in real time. Today nothing is strange and, especially, nothing is unattainable any more.
Aware of this state of affairs, Aqua Aura – donning the robes of Creator - extends the boundaries of knowledge beyond their limits. The die is cast, the challenge to photography is launched and its alteration is inevitable. Aqua Aura goes beyond the limits set by the medium and bends them to suit his own needs, to give life to new worlds and new sceneries, where anything can be and happen, and the only limit is the imagination.
Frozen Frames begins with this very spirit, in the duality of the discovery of a lost world, in a paradoxical process of knowledge which is, at the same time, a backwards negation of the same. In this spirit of regeneration and recreation it mixes elements, recreates perspectives,  matches, cuts, repositions and creates, moving in the gap between the image taken from reality, recorded by the photographic shot, and the mysterious and imaginary reality of Aqua Aura, in which he develops visions, traces stories and creates new worlds. These are actual sceneries of the mind, which in their vagueness and elusiveness offer numerous possibilities of definition and interpretation.
Hence the title of the new Finnish adventure - Vacant Scenery - which, as in a circular process, joins the images (including Finnish Lapland) to themselves and to their place of origin (Oulu, the home of the Gallery Kajaste, where the exhibition is to be held).
The concept of the personal exhibition introduces us to a suspended universe, where the common denominator is perceived in the balance of geometry, made explicit in the form of the sphere and the circle, which is echoed in the spheres of Sfera Limpida, the balls of Comet and certain astral bodies of other works, and ends in the abyss (also circular) of Hole, a work that concludes the series of the first exhibition section while introducing the viewer - in the metaphorical plunge into this abyss – to the darker works of the Frozen Frames series: visions bordering on the apocalyptic, from which emerge, in an alternation of cold, blinding light and oppressive nocturnal darkness, the shapes of carcasses, ruins and debris, abandoned in cold, deserted wastelands. The purpose of the tight colour transition from light to shadow, in fact, is to exacerbate the resulting effect of alienation.
The new Void series that follows Frozen Frames features element borrowed from the latter - expanses of snow and caves of ice are given new life, but they are no longer central elements. Here they are portrayed as mere fragments of objects trapped within shapes, as described above, cross-sections of landscape locked in the geometry of a square, a rectangle or a sphere. The portion of landscape enclosed within in the object-shape, almost like a small metaphysical theatre, further heightens the viewer’s impression of suspended time. This ‘emptying’ the object of its conceptual value is perceived in the transition from the illusion of landscape, as conceived in its traditional form, to a mental landscape made of composition and pure form.
In the two Sfera Limpida works, which were directly inspired by Hieronymus Bosch’s translucent sphere, the fragment of landscape - deriving from the previous Frozen Frames series and representing balls of ice containing natural residues - is abstract, isolated from the real world. Lacking an object, the works thus become pure essence, taking on an almost mystical aura (evoked partly by the gold or copper leaf frame that encloses them).
The reference to the mystical and the sacred continues with the Comet triptych, inspired by the altarpiece. In each section of the triptych a balloon dances, floating in an impalpable and ethereal scenario and heightening the metaphysical sense of the composition. The balloon which, by its nature, floats upwards, appears to be enclosed in a circular patina, a circular black magma that envelops it almost totally – also a shape of the mind, it hovers over a landscape that is now almost completely obliterated.
With Vacant Scenery Aqua Aura, like a modern-day explorer, calls us to witness the urge to discover new territories, in a constant interceding between the desire for rationalisation and the dramatic tension produced by the mystery of obscurity.

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