Isabella Sommati

I was born in Italy. After studies in graphics and advertising, I moved to Milan where I currently live and work as an art director for fashion and design firms.

After several years of reviewing other people’s pictures, I decided to start taking photos by and of myself. The element of water is often present in my shots, whether in the form of rain, tears, or humble public swimming pools. Water cleans, soothes and swallows, becoming the only escape.

“After that magic moment when my eyes were opened to the sea, I was no longer able to see, think, and live as before.” –Jacques-Yves Cousteau

The first time I dove I felt fear, the second time I experienced wellness, the third I was on the front line to paradise.

In the universe of the salted bubbles, Alice in Wonderland would have mistook the White Rabbit with the Mad Hatter, because down there the reality is blurred and the fantasy become the explosion of the inner feelings. Gravity exists only in the breathing while emerging, to tell the lightness of being in that submerged world, where being amazed becomes natural. And submerged and surfaced become a unique infinite where to get lost.

Summer heat, muggy weather, today is Sunday. The sea is far away, beaches are crowded, gasoline is too expensive… we can’t get away from the city. If we stay home, we would end up watching Formula One on  TV, sleeping on the couch, sweating like pigs, empty beer cans on the floor, saliva dripping from the left side of the mouth.

We need to go out during summer, have fun with friends, see some boobs and get drunk. In summer we fall in love and messages sound louder in empty streets; then we break up and the phone turns silent again. In summer we are in a good mood, the sky is clear, the sun is warm, it’s time to get tanned, even if the sun burns, we must escape to the nearest swimming pool, just thongs and caps, Sunday must begin!

But in summer the sea is black despite the chlorine, the sky is black despite the sun, concrete is black, the sea gull is black, our skin is black, the bitterness in our throat is black, this ridiculous dream of escaping is black, the Sunday we spent looking inside ourself is black, and slowly, the black sea is swallowing us.