Isacco Emiliani
6 June - 11 June 2023

“Ottantuno is an evocative book that will leave hauntingly beautiful images imprinted on your mind, and in your heart. It tells of a close bond between a boy and his grandfather, and of their love of trees. I too love trees and the mystery of being in nature at night. When I was studying chimpanzees in Tanzania, I often stayed up in the mountains over night. And then, familiar friends were transformed into beings from fairy tales, their trunks shining silver in the moonlight, their branches etched against the blackness of the star-studded sky. It was after losing his son, that grandpa Tonino began taking Isacco on night time pilgrimages, to visit iconic trees; pilgrimages that were enriched by many of the people they met along the way. Now, all these years later, they are sharing those experiences with us through these mysterious and haunting photographs, mightily able to recreate the magic of Isacco’s childhood.”

So writes Dr. Jane Goodall, the famous ethologist and anthropologist who edited the preface of Ottantuno: the photographic work created by Isacco Emiliani and Antonio Panzavolta edited by NutsforLife, in collaboration with the Jane Goodall Institute Italia and the Foreste Casentinesi National Park.

After the death of my uncle, my grandfather's son, I found his camera and fell in love with photography. My grandfather was a farmer and a great reader and told me about some iconic trees close to home. We decided to photograph them, and then to make a book of them. Our story began.

We did it at night because we had more time and because the force of nature and images were really powerful. Ottantuno tells the story that for seven years saw Isacco Emiliani and his grandfather Tonino (Antonio Panzavolta) looking for biggest trees.

Ottantuno, as the most important places of this work and as the years of Antonio Panzavolta the last picture taken. For seven years (2015-2021) Isacco and his grandfather Tonino travelled in the darkest nights to discover the biggest trees of their land, between Romagna and Tuscany.

They lived an adventure: the expeditions, the journey and the stories they came across. During this journey, for 9 months Isacco decided to live in one of the iconic places of this work, near the Foreste Casentinesi National Park, he did it to immerse himself and discover the most impressive ancient trees of this area and to find the final inspiration.

It was a long journey that led Isacco and Nonno Tonino to discover themselves and the great connection between humans, the forest and the stars.

The book has been published by Nuts For Life with the curator from Fabiola Triolo

Isacco Emiliani (b. 1991) is an Italian photographer and filmmaker.

His work is based on long-term projects telling the wilderness and the relation between people and nature. He realizes projects and stories in collaboration with organizations, non-profit organizations and companies; Isacco does educational programs for schools and immersive photography workshops.

Since 2016 he has been the author of the ongoing project Arctic Visions, a series of collections that tells the Arctic regions sensitizing with the images to their innate beauty and fragility (White Finland, 2017; Prehistoric Norway, 2018; Native Alaska, 2019; No man’s land – Svalbard, 2020 ). In 2022, he published Ottantuno with NutsForLife, an art book he worked to with his grandfather and dedicated to the big trees they discovered in seven years of night walks.

His works have been presented in prestigious place, including: Festival Circulation(s) al CENTQUATRE-Paris (Parigi 2023), Gallerie D’Italia – Inside (Turin 2022), La Cappella – Panoramic Festival (Barcellona 2022), il Museo di Scienze Naturali di Granollers (Granollers 2022), Auditorium Parco della Musica – Centenary of Italian parks (Rome, 2022), Les Cultures Odv (Lecco, 2021), Grenze – Arsenali photography (Verona, 2021), the MIC – International Museum of Ceramics (Faenza, 2018). They have also been reported and published by many media: Il Provinciale (Rai 2), Geo (Rai 3), Radio Deejay, Topolino, GQ, Arca di Noè (Canale 5), Gente di Fotografia, La Stampa, Artwort, Il Sole 24h, 361 Magazine, Montagne 360, La Repubblica, The Mag 54.