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Degree Shows 2019: Isabel’s inspiration after Italian earthquakes

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Published on 14 June 2019

Isabel Mathias
Isabel Mathias

Name: Isabel Mathias

Age: 22

Programme: Photography, Video and Digital Imaging


Three years ago, when three earthquakes hit the small Italian village of San Ginesio in the Italian region Marche, young photographer Isabel Mathias was hundreds of miles away in North East England.

But the devastation was close to her heart as Isabel’s grandparents, Judith and John, are residents of the village - and Isabel herself was born there.

University of Sunderland student Isabel took it upon herself to document the aftermath of the earthquakes, visiting the community and speaking with residents directly affected.

She said: “A lot of people had been made homeless and my grandparents had to spend a few months in a hostel.

“They’ve been back in their home for over a year now but the rebuilding work is still happening and the effects of the earthquakes are still there.”

Photographer Isabel realised that she was in a unique position to document what had happened in her grandparent’s community.

She said: “I visited three times and spoke to people I know and was able to gain access to certain areas that were still sealed off. It’s a beautiful part of the world and I wanted to capture the devastation that had happened.”

Isabel, from Hebburn, is planning to take some time after graduating this summer to decide how she wants to pursue her photography career.