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Silvia De Giorgi

Photographer and Artist

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Silvia De Giorgi is an Italian photographer and artist, who lives and works between Oslo and Bolzano, Italy. She graduated from the University of the Arts London, Wimbledon College of Arts, with a Master of Arts in Drawing, in 2019. Her work is concerned with notions of time and memory, and is a continuous exploration of natural surroundings seen as an ever-changing entity. She was amongst the winners of the Passepartout Photo Prize 2021, the Feature Shoot Emerging Photography Awards 2020 and the LensCulture Emerging Talent Awards 2019. 

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Progress shots, 2019 (from left to right) - detail of a prehistoric rock art panel, South Tyrol, Italy; frottage/rubbing of the rock art panel on site; folded frottage detail, carbon paper on drawing paper


Traces is an ongoing project which explores archaeological documentation techniques involved in the conservation of prehistoric rock carvings. 


Rock carvings are an important part of human history but they are rapidly being destroyed by changing environmental conditions. As they are usually situated in the open landscape they are exposed to extreme weathering and air pollution. This project emerges from collaboration with archaeologists and rock art specialists on the documentation of prehistoric rock carvings in the UNESCO world-heritage site of Tanum, Sweden. Conservation work at the heritage site is concentrated on the rock panels that are most affected by the damaging effects of changing climatic conditions. The archaeological “frottage” – a rubbing of the carved areas on the panel made with carbon paper – forms an important part of the recording process. By adopting the archaeological rubbing method I initiated a journey across the mountains and valleys of my home region in the Italian alps, to identify and register rock formations marked by its prehistoric inhabitants. 

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Traces IV, rubbing of a rock face with prehistoric rock carvings, carbon paper on drawing paper, 2019; detail (right)
Installation view A Thousand Configurations exhibition, Lewisham Art House London

The frotages created in this series not only document the geological features of the rock and the faint prehistoric carvings on its surface, but also work as a ‘recorded dialogue’ between the rock face and myself. They contain the memories and experiences of the hours and days I spent working on site, within the land and in close contact to its history. My work installations emphasize the process-led nature of my research. The frotages in this series are often accompanied in exhibitions by hand-printed photographs referencing the visited locations as well as sketchbooks, working tools and natural objects collected on site. 


Liquid Landscapes / Landscape Pieces (2018--) Silver gelatin prints on expired photographic paper
below: Retracing the Landscape (2019) installation view with natural objects and plan chest drawer with silver gelatin prints

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