Always on the move, Italian photographer, Margherita Chiarva’s, dream-like images, blurs the lines between two worlds by capturing the in-between-ness of moments, and portraying stories into hidden, secret memories.
Here, Margherita Chiarva, takes us over the horizon and into her world, and reveals a glimpse of her daydreams, what it means to be a woman, and why she continues to shoot with analogue.
What is the source of your inspiration?
I grew up between Milan and Ibiza, and continue to travel between both places. I love Milan for the hustle of the city and Ibiza is a very special place to me – a safe haven on an island. But my ancestral family comes from Piemont – a quiet town in the mountains of Italy called Viridio in Piedmont. We still have a house there, it belongs to my grandfather since the 1940’s. Each year our family and friends gather, it is another world altogether.
I can be quite sporadic and am often in Ibiza, this island is my cocoon of dreams, a shelter. It is the opposite of what most people think of when they visualise Ibiza [crazy night-life]. For me, when I feel like I want to escape, I let my mind wander to Ibiza. When I am there [both physically or mentally] my subconscious mind creates these new ideas, which has influenced my work. There is a dream-like language I create, that is both literal and metaphorical. I see reality in a different way – a blur between two worlds.
When did you start taking pictures?
I started to take pictures with a 35mm camera when I was 15 years old. I remembered the first time my teacher saw my pictures and told me ‘this is not a good photo, nothing is focused.’ I later learnt that I was short-sighted. Seeing blurry was my normal. All my pictures were always blurry and I didn’t think blurry pictures were a problem. I decided to continue taking photos without the focus, I guess, this is the world seen through my eyes.
What influenced you to become a photographer?
Instinctively, I always knew since I was 15 years old [in boarding school] that I would become a photographer. I have always been drawn to the subtle stories in pictures and had this intuition of wanting to tell stories. I enrolled into cinematography at Milan University and eventually realised I preferred to work alone, which led me to do my Masters in Photography at Central Saint Martins in London.
Tell me more about this dream-like language?
Time goes by too fast. Sometimes, I get a glimpse of the truth. The soul. I like to capture the energy – this is what I get attracted to. The energy. I get lost in these moments, I see beauty in mistakes and simplicity – each moment, each click, each image, gets a special treatment, some sort of manipulation. I try to immortalise and share these magic moments as they don’t repeat themselves.
You are currently experiencing some changes in your life, can you share this story?
I am a woman in transition. Vulnerable and strong. For many years, I felt I was in a hurry to find new extreme experiences of seeing, feeling and tasting. Now, I do everything quietly. I am calm and my work speaks for me. The realisation happened quite suddenly – it was early June and I was swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and it was at that peaceful moment, I saw my true purpose. Looking backwards, I was always going around with my hand like this [fist punching the air] screaming ‘here I am, I am this, and I have this to say, this is my statement,’ fighting to be heard – almost like a political protest. Inside, I am actually really fragile. I realised I had to do the opposite. I am strong, but I will express it with my silence – through my art.
Do you have fears?
I have fears, like everyone else. I want to continue to find new ways to live in the process of always creating and maintaining my soul. I am constantly trying to find the balance between truth and not spoiling the roots.
Do you have a life motto?
My life motto is – life is a flux. My work is always evolving with me, a moment of constant change – this has its beauty and its difficulty. There is a strong femininity about my work, I believe the ultimate meaning of being a woman is to create; creating work, creating a human being, and creating an energy.
What shall we expect from you next?
The next natural development will be the launch of my own photography lab [dark room] in Milan. This creative space is shared with another artist and I hope to be able to nurture and support the traditional methods of photography. I have always and will continue to shoot analogue. I love this internalised process – to be in the dark room, to manipulate, to experiment, and to create new art.