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Nottingham Castle

Art Works: Mariano Doronzo

1 February 17 words: Mariano Doronzo

A local artist talks about his photography project - Through The Looking Glass...

Mariano Doronzo

I moved to Nottingham in September 2014 and didn’t know anyone or anything about the city. I’d spend my free time walking through town, exploring the space, with a particular interest in seeking out hidden alleyways – something I still find fascinating.

Being on my own, I was trying to find a connection with people; observing them from the distance, mostly through windows and mirrors, and sometimes feeling jealous of these moments of their lives. The only way I could steal such moments was through my film camera. The photos were essentially taken to compensate for my sense of loneliness, and to feel that I somehow belonged or understood part of this city.

With that in mind, I had no intention of making these photos into a project, and I didn’t start out with the notion that they would be displayed. In a way, they were simply research on this, my new journey.

It was only recently that the idea to exhibit them came about. I was printing photos at the Photo Parlour – a collective darkroom in Nottingham, near the train station – from the films I’d taken in 2014-15. If you’re passionate about analogue photography, this is a place you should definitely get to know. It’s an inspirational place.

Looking through my prints, it was clear how seven of the street shots worked well together as a series. They represented my feelings from my first moments in Nottingham well: people working and socialising in barber shops, tea rooms and bakeries, all captured along Derby Road, in Hurts Yard, down Bridlesmith Walk, and the rest.

I discovered photography through a friend of mine. About four years ago, I was living in Bristol and I received a parcel from a friend who was then living in Paris. Inside was a Praktica camera with a few black and white films, and a letter that read, “This is now your camera, learn to use it!” Now, photography is more than just a hobby. It is a personal attitude, an easy way to approach people who I find interesting; people whose stories make me discover and understand more about the world around me.

If I had the luxury of time and, more importantly, money, I would practise and develop my ideas and versatilities – especially focusing on improving my printing skills and exploring  venues where I could exhibit my work. I currently have a crowdfunding page where people who like my work can support me to get an exhibition at Surface Gallery in Sneinton.

Through the Looking Glass, The Alley Café, Wednesday 1 - Tuesday 28 February 2017.

Mariano Doronzo website


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