This 80 page collection of photographs captures some of the fabulous masqueraders at the heart of Venice's 2009 Carnival. It takes a gentle look at diverse approaches to the celebration, focusing on costumes, variously beautiful, dignified, historical, humorous or contemporary.
The images portray relationships between the viewed and their viewers.
They tell stories of disguise and display at the Piazza San Marco until the end of Carnival, when an exhausted Venice recovers her tranquillity.
My love of metaphor is incorporated into the layout of this book. The first photograph is of a carnival-goer framing herself for the camera. This collection of photographs frames the experience for you.
Proceeding from the glass lion, which marks the San Marco vaporetto stop, to stalls and shops selling costumes, the pictures next suggest the relationship between those who come to be seen and those who come to look. Next there is the delightful mushroom with a backpack, signifying that a trip plunging deep into the heart of carnival is beginning in earnest.
Towards the end of the book, a death's head evokes the end of festivities, the need for cleansing and renewal, and a newly empty Venice.
I tried to capture the variety of the event, as well as its energy and undeniable weirdness.
The extreme dedication and creativity of so many masqueraders was impressive. They not only costumed themselves marvellously, but also performed with generosity and distinction for festival-goers, photographers and one another.