From Moricone to Cappadocia through the lens of Patricia Sofra

In her nostalgia-evoking composition of analogue photographs, Melbourne-based photographer Patricia Sofra takes us through the roads of Moricone, Italy to the mountain tops of Cappadocia, Turkey.

  • What do you look for when creating your compositions?

    No environment or situation that I am photographing is the same, but what informs all of my work is a sense of symmetry and intergenerational memory.

  • How do your surroundings inspire you?

    The daily grind can really hinder my process, so travelling and visiting foreign environments helps clear my mind. I’m also learning how to find inspiration in Australia, which I’ve always felt disconnected from. Not travelling during the pandemic has been challenging, but I’m curious to see how it will impact my practice.

“I work closely with analogue because it allows me to relinquish control, shoot slower, and work with the flaws.”

  • What do you feel most comfortable creating?

    I believe that my work holds multiple facets that can be translated across fields, including documentary and visual art. Moving in, with, and through different locations and creative fields, I hope that my practice will arrive at a place of one. 

    I work closely with analogue because it allows me to relinquish control, shoot slower, and work with the flaws. It’s not the most comfortable approach, but I find it incredibly poetic—an exercise in trusting the self and the process.

  • What are the running narratives and themes of your work?

    Through a realistic and romantic subconsciousness, my work encapsulates recurring threads of community, connection, belonging, permanence, and impermanence.

  • When did you realise this was what you wanted to do?

    My love for the visual medium developed from the age of 13, and my greatest influences were my Italian heritage and my passion for travel and analogue methods. After graduating from the Victorian College of the Arts (University of Melbourne) with a Bachelor’s in Visual Art, Photography in 2016, I took a road trip through Turkey in 2018 that was momentous in my decision to pursue photography as a career.

“No environment or situation that I am photographing is the same, but what informs all of my work is a sense of symmetry and intergenerational memory.’’

  • What attracts you to your practice and what do you enjoy the most?

    Photography constantly pushes me outside of my comfort zone. As a young introvert, it was my tool to connect with humans without getting too close, to live vicariously through others during my own uncertainty. While I have a different outlook today, the contradiction between desiring isolation and also human connection still attracts me. I’m also attracted to the spontaneity of shooting, along with creating authentic imagery and narratives.

  • What inspires you the most?

    The dynamic interrelation between humans and their shifting environments; the beauty in the everyday; the otherworldly in nature. I am also fascinated by my family and ancestors, who I learn about through vintage postcards and discarded family albums.

“As a young introvert, it was my tool to connect with humans without getting too close, to live vicariously through others during my own uncertainty.’’

  • What is your favorite piece of work and why?

    The “Learning To Do The Same’’ series was a real turning point for me. During a visit to Turkey in 2017, I found a lonelier sight than expected. From the blue waters of Fethiye to the mountains of Cappadocia, from the citrus trees to the dusty fruit stalls, the series emphasizes the cultural and historical impacts on the land while also celebrating its underlying beauty and resilience. 

    But my favorite photograph is “Road to Moricone.’’ Moricone is a small village in central Italy where my grandparents and ancestors lived. I’ve always felt connected to this place, and this photograph is a portal to home for me.

Patricia Sofra is an Australian artist and photographer. Her work is characterised by a keen interest in capturing the dynamic relationships between communities and their environment, paying attention to how previous generations and historical events have influenced the present. Follow her Instagram to view more of Patricia’s work, and check out other FF Photo Essays here.

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