Think documentary photography and the name of Parma-born Ettore Moni would instantly strike your mind. With astounding work of art to back his excellent photography career, Moni has completed yet another amazing project – “An Empty Valley.” Captured in the breathtaking Apuan Alps in the proximity of the iconic city of Carrara, this is any documentary photographer’s dream project, capturing the beauty and wounds of a land exploited by man to the hilt. And the dynamic photographer’s work vividly shows the rape of nature!

Moni has carved a niche for himself in the world of fine art photography, creating a body of work dedicated to the preservation of a natural landscape exploited by man over the years. Moni’s work of art is more about what is left of the land after the tools have been put to rest, beautifully capturing the yet to heal scars suffered by the land over the years from quarrying and mining. The land still bears the pale skin line as a reflection of its past and Moni has beautifully captured the pain and suffering of the land. The Empty Valley project is indeed a vivid reminder of how man has “raped” natural beauty.

The fine art photography project is a visual interpretation of the ravages of nature that has suffered immensely at the hands of man. Captured using a large format camera, the pictures say it all – filled with stories about nature’s wounds that would never heal, natural beauty that once was the talk of the town, and courage of an abandoned valley that has suffered deep scars.

On another side is the tough nature that has strengthened itself enough to make it impossible for man to quarry for constructions. A look at the photographs takes you to a beautiful world teeming with natural beauty despite the ravages the landscape has suffered. It’s the wondrous element to Moni’s photographs that continues to inspire documentary photographers world over to get set for an adventurous journey to a spectacular natural world that once was the inspiration for poets and authors.

Despite the white marble carvings standing tall amongst the verdant forest, it’s the natural material that grabs instant attention. Moni’s images are certainly a peep into the history of the landscape draped in white, inciting a deeper and complex conversation about nature’s abuse by man.

While the other side is a sight of deep valor and courage shown by nature that bears clear marks of exploitation with their unnatural lengthwise cuts. The documentary photographer shows through his camera lens a dark, dingy place barely reached by sunshine rays. You can also find high-detail images that tell a tale of their own – the story of a quarrier with a graduation degree, a shepherd writing poetry, a sculptor passionately in love with solitude, and a hunter who loves to use his legs for trekking instead of using his rifle for killing.

Like most of his other fine art photography project, An Empty Valley project aims to sensitize man to the damage inflicted upon nature by high-altitude explorers, drawing attention to the fact that humans are destroying the very nature that harbors us. True, Moni’s photography may be unconventional but the message he wishes to deliver is aptly heard by his viewers!


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Elda Bellone is a very talented Italian architect and industrial designer who’s always been actively involved in studying, investigating and developing innovative approaches to both function and form. Elda is passionate about all the different languages of art, looking for new influences and interchanges she aims to extend and enrich the meaning of the many possibilities to conceive objects, beyond the conventional definitions.

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