Jimmy Nelson Between The Sea & The Sky
What is a photographer of the last indigenous people possibly doing when he is stuck at his homebase (in this case Amsterdam) due to the pandemic? He starts thinking about his travels to the most distant parts of the world and wondering if he found what he had always been looking for, a place to call home. He than sees that the earth itself is his home place and starts to look for his direct surrounding, searching for the magic of art in his local area. In his own words: “for me, art is the space between each and every person, and I Jimmy Nelson, as an artist, am looking for the space within for a healing of self. Then, perhaps with this insight, this alignment, bit by bit, step by step I could humbly be a catalyst to lead others to embark on their introspective journey of self. Then we could as humans as a whole make the decision that need to be made now to rehabilitate our home with the love it deserves for all the generations to come.
May we all, like the Dutch, continue to stand tall and proud for generations and benefit from the sea´s infinite possibilities, whilst being protected by the immeasurable blanket of sky above”
The book is a real pleasure to look at, one feels the respect and love for the local people posing for the photos. It is already true that traditional costumes tend to look good on young and especially on older people, but with Nelson these transformations are becoming a breathtaking experiences for the viewers as probably also for the models themselves. A central point seems to be the magic of the Northern light, so famous from Dutch paintings. Several portraits are looking like being painted by Vermeer! Even though Jimmy Nelson may not have known much about textiles before he started his Dutch project, he did his research thoroughly, the costumes are divided by area; West Zeeland, Friesland, Urk a former island, Huizen,, Hindelopen, Katwijk, Rijssen, de Zaanstreek, North Zeeland, Volendam (the best-known Dutch costumes), Staphorst, Scheveningen, South Zeeland, Spakenburg, Noordwest Veluwe, Marken und finally Central Zeeland. With every region there are historical facts and mythical stories published, followed by 20-30 pages with stunning photos. As the book is large-size, it is really heavy, about probably over 10 kilos! I needed half of my suitcase to transport it from Amsterdam, where I got it as a Christmas present, to my home in Hannover!
In the Introduction the author gives his views, of which I happily repeat some sentences as I do so very much agree with them: “On our global stage of digital connection, where cultural values are becoming homogenized and losing their individualism and authenticity, art and creativity have the definite to fill the void that the capitalist dream leaves in its tumultuous wake. Art is both a celebration of life in all its complexity and an intimate expression of the human condition.”
Artur Japin, Dutch writer and friend of Jimmy Nelson writes:” Between the Sea & the Sky, on that flat land I never thought suited my character, a challenging world suddenly emerges, graceful and driven, mythical and unique.
With these photos, Jimmy Nelson has taken me into the world where I grew up, a world I thought I knew, but which I´d clearly never really dared enter because I didn´t knowhow to read its people. Until now”
And finally Tess Zondervan, a young anthropologist, seafarer and flight attendant from Marken, where this strong feeling of belonging to a community through traditional dress is still alive, writes: “It is time to write a new chapter, a chapter of our own. A chapter full of hope for a future in which traditional dress flourishes once more. May this book offer new insights to look at the Netherlands anew.”
This book is published by Jimmy Nelson B.V., 2022, ISBN 978-830-8322-3
The price of this book is ca.125 Euro