Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

The magnificent

Mar 26, 2017 - Rachele Monti

Today, I want to speak about a book that has been a big inspiration to me in the past years, it is called “Il Meraviglioso: leggende, fiabe e favole ticinesi” (The magnificent: legends, fairy tales and fables from Ticino).

In this four volume book edited by Dadò, you can find a collection of myths and legends from Ticino, but also a lot of references and contextualisation to the history and tradition of the region. Ticino is a Italian speaking canton of Switzerland and the place where I grew up. The stories told in the book teach us about imaginary creatures, monsters, dragons, witches, gnomes but especially the devil. The Swiss territory is the fundamental element for the birth and the setting of the myths; in all of them we find a mountainous landscape made of woods, rocks, pastures, streams and lakes. Besides the magical creatures, the human inhabitants of the region are the main characters to appear, however it is frequent to find the presence of “strangers” in the stories. This might be due to the fact that the Ticino region was fundamental for transition and exchanges from north to south. These nordic influences are also recorded in the book through the presence of gnomes and elfs. 

As well as the rest of Europe, my region’s culture and religion is deeply rooted in Christianity. It is a known picture to find chapels scattered around the paths, on which people use to wander and pray in order to ward off the devil.

My gaze towards the landscape was shaped by these stories that gave me a mystical and naive desire to discover the invisible in it. That’s certainly the reason why the mountain embossed landscape is my main source of inspiration.

All the pictures above are taken from the book “Il Meraviglioso, leggende, fiabe e favole ticinesi — Vol.4”.