Francesco Comello - Isle of Salvation


World.Report Award 2016 – Spot Light Award

Award motivations

Poetry, suspension of time, photographic composition.
These elements are expressed at their best in the work of Francesco Comello.
The poetry of glances, costumes and the slow rhythm of this community become visual images, intercepting light and shapes through a strong and powerful synthesis.
Time takes on a different connotation, including the time of the story and of changes that remain “outside the door” (removed from mainstream society) in a magical awaiting.
The composition of the image, at the foundations of the photographic language, are supported and amplified by a mature and intense use of black and white, connecting the content and form to a higher level that brings wonder and enchantment.
“Isle of Salvation” is a journey through space and time on the wings of photographic poetry.


The inhabitants of this hidden and silent community call it the “Isle of Salvation”.
When you go near it, on the busy road that leads from Moscow to Yaroslav, you hardly notice its existence.
Yet, it is a spiritual, educational and cultural centre unique in the whole Russian State.

Founded in the early 90s by an Orthodox priest, at the beginning it was supposed to be a community of thirty people, gathered to live together in accordance with the Gospel’s and the Holy Fathers’ principles. With the passing of time, it became a community which currently accommodates 300 boys and girls, many of whom are misfits or have family problems. No TV, no Internet, no cell phones and no money, deemed society’s evils. They till the soil, study and dance. Their souls are forged and their bodies get trained. The supreme values are God and fatherland. An educational utopia out of the world, yet immersed in history, where everybody’s commitment to individual transformation andharmonious growth, keeps hope alive.

Text by Francesco Comello


Francesco Comello

Francesco Comello was born in Udine in 1963.
He graduates from the School of Art and starts to work in the field of graphic design and illustrations. While in high school, he gets passionate about photography, but it’s only in 2008 that its interest grows until he starts to realize storytelling and photography projects.
For this reason, he undertakes travels that put him in contact with far away realities that are culturally very different.
His work has been exhibited in Italy as well as abroad.