Non siamo gondolieri

April 24th, 2014, 11pm

I took a picture of a gondolier and thought, Hey there’s an idea, I’ll photograph gondoliers and their amazing faces. But everyone snaps gondoliers, so I began taking pictures of Venetians steering all the other boats on the canals and lagoon.

Their helm stares are fascinating - attentive, focussed on the water ahead, yet at the same time miles away. External and watchful, internal and thoughtful. A stare you can feel even through their designer sunglasses. The non-gondoliers, unless they are physically propelling their craft, are still, standing or sitting almost in a state of repose, while moving through a constantly fluid waterscape.

One of the delights of Venice is the way every day land functions, delivering a fridge, collecting rubbish, speeding paramedics to an emergency, become waterborne. An unnatural environment so natural to non-gondoliers that, with most of these pictures, if you cut out the boat and the watery backgrounds, they could easily be standing in a bar, chatting in a garden chair, or standing at a bus stop skimming Twitter.

I looked hard for women non-gondoliers and began to think I’d not find any, then on the last day a pod of canoeists shot along the Lido then, as darkness fell on the Grand Canal, our vaporetto overtook the couple texting.

Non Siamo Gondolieri, We Are Not Gondoliers, here in a Flickr set

David Wade and Christine said thanks.

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Steve Dearden

Writer, producer and Director of The Writing Squad -

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