The hands of the ancient Italian manufacturing tradition in the shots of Thomas Quintavalle

Thomas Quintavalle is a professional photographer, who lives between Mestre and Berlin, a graduate in Law. The passion for images as an instrument of storytelling and emotions grew after 1995, when a bad car accident forced him into a wheelchair. Where it does not allow him to arrive, << photography gives me the freedom to be wherever my gaze is placed. When shooting I find myself for a moment inside the scene, it’s an incredible feeling >>. For some years Thomas has set up an artistic project that conveys a positive message: immortalizing “the hands of tradition”, that is telling stories and people involved in the Italian manufacturing tradition. This is a journey around the Italian product known and recognized as “Made in Italy.” Quintavalle has traveled far and wide throughout the Country in search of stories of excellence and especially of historic companies that have been operating for at least a hundred years. Italy boasts the world record in terms of seniority of the foundations of the companies: about 2,500 are the historical companies present in Italy, four out of ten are familiar, thirty have been born even between the eleventh and sixteenth centuries. In the photographs taken by the artist from Mestre, with an almost pictorial look, you can see faces, tools, workshops, laboratories; but above all hands that knead, draw, sew, sculpt. Hands that work to pass down, over the centuries, the most beautiful secret of a work in which the haste imposed by the economic utilitarianism of the multinationals gives way to the slowness of the craftsman and the worker intent on creating. The first shots taken to give life to this project date back to 2013. Thomas Quintavalle discovered, met and photographed the Pontifical Foundry of Marinelli, which for a thousand years, in Agnone in the province of Isernia, produces bells; or the wool factory of the Piacenza Brothers in Pollone, in the Biella area, active since 1733. But also the ancient Torrini company, which in Florence, produces jewels since 1369. Or in the province of Venice, the Voltan di Stra company, the first industrial production cycle shoe factory in Italy, and the Camuffo company in Portogruaro, which has been building boats since 1438. The project “hands of tradition” is dynamic, evolving, constantly looking for new stories to photograph. What is striking is the sobriety of the shots that access the workshop of the craftsman and the factory of the worker with respect and admiration for the values ​​that these people carry forward.

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