Shot on black and white film, with an old 35mm camera, Brunelli’s images have a power and intimacy about them which sets them apart from standard nature photography. He finds his subjects in backyards, small villages, fields, farms and near his home in London, performing a ritual of interaction with them in order to get the shot he is happy with.
"When I focus on the subjects I tend to be very precise, and I only take pictures in the natural morning light," he explains. "Once I see an animal that I want to photograph, I try to ignore it then I run after it which usually gains a response; sometimes I just stare at it and see what happens. Their reactions are different, sometimes they are curious about the camera and sometimes they get scared about the noise of the shutter. When I am dealing with dead animals I pick them up from the ground and place them where I think the setting works. In this case my interaction with the animal is a way to give purpose to something that it no longer has."
The resulting photographs depict the animals’ freedom to move in their environment, which range from large cities to wide open fields. By crouching down to the animal’s level when taking the picture, Brunelli is bringing us into their world, focusing on the way they inhabit their environment and their relationship with humans. As Richard Pitnick states in Black and White Photography magazine, the photographs of dead animals, by contrast, “serve to honour and resurrect their spirits when they were alive”.
|Brunelli was born in Perugia, Italy, in 1977 and currently lives in London. He first studied photography on a short course, after having graduated from a degree in international communications. It was there that his fascination with photographing animals began.
"When I was a child I used to spend time playing with animals and I think that is why I push the lens often to its closest point of focus, almost touching the subject and forcing flight or fight from the animal, which is when l then photograph the animal´s reaction," he says.
The Animals has been exhibited internationally, as well as featured in a number of magazines. In 2008 a monograph of the work with an introduction by Alison Nordstrom, curator of George Eastman House in New York. was published by Dewi Lewis Publishing. Brunelli is represented by The Photographers Gallery Print Sales, and his work is in public collections both in the UK and the US.