Rekindling a Marriage as Old as Our Existence: Federica Porro and Celina Marie Dzyacky Explore the Relationship Between Man and the Natural World

Mutualisms sprawl vehemently throughout the natural world. These mutualisms exist not only in the everyday workings of plant and animal ecosystems, but also through tender encounters between human and nature. Federica Porro and Celina Marie Dzyacky encapsulate this coexistence between plant and man in their series, Flora Umana. In this series, the Italian (Porro) and American (Dzyacky) artists combined their talents of photography and poetry to create animated dialogue. The black-and-white photographs produce the initial contemplation while a corresponding reply from the visual poetry act to create a powerful conversation between the two forms of art.

Porro and Dzyacky strive to evoke a conceptual conversation that demonstrates the unity of man and nature. The written words of the poetry expose the human spirit, while acting as a direct reflection of the natural world depicted in the photos. Through the emersion into nature, man is able to understand and decipher the complexities of the world around him.

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The series begins with the haunting disconnect between human and nature that is the unfortunate reality of today’s society. As the audience is exposed to the first photo-poem coupling, they experience the bewilderment that one might feel when re-discovering the long-forgotten relationship between man and nature. Wonder reveals the raw fascination, and the intense longing for the human soul to be connected to nature once more, all the while paying tribute to the mysteries of the vegetal world.

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After the initial reunion between the two identities, the dialogue shifts from the awe of the encounter to a more in-depth questioning of man’s own nature. The way the tree extends its branches up and outwards, mirrors our own ceaseless impact on the world. The Fingertips of Man articulate the notion that humanity has become an ominous threat the natural world, and we are often blind to the damages we have inflicted on our home. It can also be inferred that our blindness to these damages is due to our preoccupation with social constructs and belief systems, which dissuade our attention from simple pleasures – such as the branches of a tree moving in the wind.

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The conversation in Flora Umana starts to take a darker turn, which sets the stage for the next few pairs of artistic renderings of the series. Solitude uses equally powerful words and visual imagery to expose a very sensitive human experience: to be completely alone with one’s self. Porro and Dzyacky reveal both sides of solitudes’ coin – the fear of falling into loneliness; and the possibility discovering of ones’ own self. As we move through the series we start to see that the later of these two routes has been taken: that being alone in nature gives a chance to learn more about ourselves without the feeling of complete desolation.

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Each image and poem provide their own unique importance in the arrival to the climax of the series. The conversation builds as the audiences is drawn further and further into the authors’ story. It is only with the words and black-and-white images put together do I feel that I can completely grasp the message that the authors are trying to convey. With the advent of the final image and corresponding poem, I feel a sense of resolution to the questions and contemplations that were upheaved from the preceding images and poems. Bamboo provides a beautiful conclusion to the series by giving the audience a powerful final message of both hard truth and hopefulness.

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In Flora Umana, nature and man rekindle an almost forgotten union by exposing truth and shedding light on the important connection shared between the two entities.

You can see more from both artists by following them on Instagram. Click here for Porro’s Instagram, and here for Dzyacky’s.

Interview (1)

vulgarismagazine

Kira is an avid enthusiast of photography, poetry and the arts in general. She holds a degree in Communications and English Literature at the University of Ottawa.

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