Italian artist Federico Scarchilli uses his photography to bring a spiritual reminder back to his generation. Through stunning architectural photographs of Cistercian abbeys, Scarchilli demonstrates the quiet power of the simple, utilitarian architecture. The 13th and 14th century Fossanova, Casamari, and Valvisciolo Abbeys, all found in Italy, are the settings for Domus Alba, a powerful series of images that ask the viewer to reflect on the power of religious architecture.
The bright white architecture, which Scarchilli sees as the color of the Divine, is also a reflection of the abbeys’ material—stone. Strong and sturdy, it provides the foundation to help elevate the soul. “The most beautiful thing to me is that who projected [the architecture] has used simplicity as a tool to bring human beings and God closer together,” Scarchilli shares with My Modern Met.
The young artist was inspired to create the series as a means to bring spirituality back to his generation, something he sees as often lacking. “I have noticed my generation (90’s) and new generations, are totally missing the spiritual dimension, they have replaced this dimension with parties, din, drugs, Saturdays nights, and alcohol,” he explains. “The result is people who cannot stay in silence anymore and can’t appreciate the invisible vibes. In the past, spirituality has always been an extremely important part of our lives, but we are on our way to losing it, so I would like to bring attention back to it. Mine is a message for who is missing a spiritual dimension, inviting them to take care of their interior and cultivate it.”
These spaces, filled with silence, invite us in to meditate on their purposes, just like the monks who live there. Stark and simple, freed from distraction, the architecture allows us to fully engage with our inner spirit. And thanks to Scarchilli’s photographs, we are drawn into the quiet contemplation of the environment.