Artificial Islands

Riikka Latva-Somppi 


Cover Photo: Riikka Latva-Somppi’s photo series Artificial Islands from the Muranese glass waste island questions whether natural scenery can be distinguished from artificial landscape.Photo: Riikka Latva-Somppi 

The photograph series Artificial Islands by artist Riikka Latva-Somppi was inspired by the artist’s trip to the island of Sacca San Mattia in Murano, Italy. The Murano islands are renowned for their 700-year-old glass-making tradition. Sacca San Mattia, like many islands in the lagoon in Venice, was built of debris. The artificial island was created by dumping waste from the glass industry, household waste and building rubble into the sea, and the repeated dredging of the lagoon bed. The traditional Venetian way of building artificial islands is an extreme example of human impact on nature. Latva-Somppi’s photographs ask whether we can any longer distinguish between a natural landscape and an artificial structure generated by the needs of the consumer society.