In Agnès Varda’s farewell to filmmaking, she declares that ‘’if we opened people up, we’d find landscapes’’. Be it the whirling pool of ocean waters, the sculpture of a wing enclosed in ice, the mellow figure of a tree covered in snow or the imponent silhouette of a black mountain, Ángeles Peña allows us to glimpse into her soul and land through her suggestive photography.

Always inspired by the sublime power of nature, the photographer grew up amongst the Patagonia mountains, bearing witness and documenting the variegated character of such landscapes. By exploring the textures, patterns and inhabitants that represent the skin of this environment, she is able to capture in single instants the forces that are constantly moulting and conditioning our land, as well as the intimate relationships between these objects and their contexts. Her photography seems to challenge the motionless measurements of time and space, as it reflects the busting energy of hot springs, the passing of seasons, the misty songs of the sea meeting the coast and the melting mountain waters.

By recording this relentless and inevitable transformation, Ángeles Peña portrays nature as a new born, alternative vision of what has been surpassed through these rituals of passage: in her words, ‘’cold, water and ice are inexhaustible objects of study’’ as they are constantly transforming from one instant to the next and never preserve the same shape, pattern or form. Her project aims to represent not the landscape, wild and hostile in the eyes of man, but the path that humanity must walk to understand its insignificant role in perspective to the whole. Through her powerful landscapes, she intends to communicate how everything belongs to the rest, and to blow away their dichotomous nature by sewing together the sea and the sand, the piece and the place, the eye and the land.

“I don’t photograph a landscape, but all of what happens in it. The path, the road taken in its interior. I try to speak from within the landscape, not from a distance.” Ángeles Peña




Photography: Ángeles Peña

Poetry: Erin Rizzato Devlin


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At the bottom of the universe,

lies a rock placed 

at the opening of 

two lustrous edges,

brushed with black ashes 

and an intense azurine core,

an ice wound

by the breast of the earth.

Open to the skies,

a crater of water levigates

its circular pond

through crystal grounds,

carving its cavity

with irreversible calm.

As a mess of stars,

falling from the night

depositing as stones

arising as a vapor fog

foaming as white waves:

shapeless unity 

inhabits the black body

of a mountain, streaked 

by the timid course of waters, 

meeting, shifting, 

unfurling, pouring, roaring,

singing, whirling.

An island of ice stems 

the sea, it is all 

that is left.


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Small bodies of white unfurl

awakening from their slumber:

tender and gentle

figures and bodies lay tired

in their pallid stature.

Dawn shakes their sleepy heads

of snow, as they rise

in the gleaming sunshine,

slowly melting their candid cloak

slowly growing their ancient trunk.


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A mist arises

as the hot breath

of the air,

as the fumes 

of sacred prayer,

as the fog

of transcendence,

as the streams

of crying water,

as the smoke

of black earth.

The darkness 

beneath the skin

of firm magma

appears as

puddles of ink,


and blackened

by the passage

of fire.

Ancient wrath

is formed

at the heart

of the stone,

its ashen origin

at the eruption

of light.


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A fine thread is pulled 

between the two as one.

The presence of borders fortifies

the faint illusion of identity:

the sea pulls at the sand,

as a child tugging its mother;

the black body of a mountain

stands as a holy idol against

a background of white;

the scar of the land limits water,

as the abrasion of soft skin

made of openings and closure.

A fine thread is pulled 

between the two as one.


Photo Credit: Angeles Peña