“Nothing, Everything, Anything, Something: If you have nothing, then you have everything, because you have the freedom to do anything, without the fear of losing something.” ― Jarod Kintz
It is a long time ago now and it feels as if it was. I was a different person back then, a different version of me living in a different world. But I remember those three weeks of getting lost on Swedish roads well. Mum and I had decided it was time for a different kind of holiday, and instead of the warm coast of the south we took to the cold roads of the North. We didn’t have a plan, we didn’t have a list of things we wanted to see or do. All we knew was that we’d drive north and turn back down once time would make us.
“We need the tonic of wildness…At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things, we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable, that land and sea be indefinitely wild, unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable. We can never have enough of nature.” ― Henry David Thoreau,
In the beginning, we had planned to work a month as wwoofers in the farm of a 70 years old couple, in small hamlet close to Oslo. Difference of opinions and generational conflict, we had stayed one week. After a few talks, some trees planted, a lawn-mower broken and window-panes well cleaned, we had decided to escape for the fjords of Sognfjord. This is the summary of three days of our one month trip, in a place where time seemed to pass differently.
‘Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish’ – Steve Jobs
Sven came crashing in guns blazing and inked to the eyeballs. This rebel decided he wanted to be a photographer only a year ago (I still remember him being really bouncy about buying his first roll of film) and making a name for himself in a very short amount of time. He is a busy little fucker, not only taking pictures but also throwing some paint at canvasses (and people) in his free time, modelling for denim brands and running a lifestyle blog here and there. About time we had a chat with this busy bee from Holland.
Our day in Liverpool ends quickly though and the next day we find ourselves on yet another ferry to Dublin, where we get our first taste of Gaelic. All the road signs are both in English as in Gaelic and I rejoice in trying to say all the words out loud. I quickly memorize the word for exit as we pass the sign at least every five minutes on the highway and I don’t think I ever stopped saying it during those three weeks.
Ireland, I haven’t seen you for a while. A couple of years it has been since my feet touched your soil, but if I think of you I hear the music playing in my head and images of roads winding under flowery skies and over green hills littered with stone hedges come to me clear as if it happened just yesterday.
It was quiet out here, too. Dead kangaroos on the side of the street. The woman at the only roadhouse between Mildura and Broken Hill only said “Yay” and nothing else. It was getting hotter and hotter, red dirt roads branched off from the main street. I got used to driving straight, taking photos out of the car, changing CDs and started to like them now, tried to practise the Spanish rolling R. There was nothing else to do than driving and waiting for something.
It always takes some time to get used to yourself again. I had spent the last two months surrounded by other travellers, started similar small talks every day with different people, and found out new things about faraway countries every other day. Now I was on my own, driving out of Melbourne, and I had forgotten how quiet and lonely it can be behind the rental car’s doors. I had forgotten what I looked like on my own. The outside rushed past without a noise like a movie on a screen with a volume turned down to silence: the trees, the houses, the heat. I had a moving room of my own, my Canon A-1 and a notebook on the passenger seat.
The whole time I kept thinking; could I live like this? Would I be able to have such a small living space, could I handle the cold and taking very very very cold showers?
When I was nineteen and my mother kept dragging lost people and sad animals into the cabin we lived in, I decided to hunt for my own place. I ended up trading a couple of beers for a wagon and lived on 15m2 in my parents’ garden for a while. When Angeniet Berkers contacted Sunday Mornings with her project 15m2 of freedom, it felt like a trip down memory lane. The wagon I used to live in is overgrown with Ivy, but luckily it is not the only wagon turned living space in the Netherlands. Angeniet spend some time hopping from mobile home to mobile home, documenting unique living spaces in Holland. She bundled her photographs in a beautiful book, mixed with quotes from the inhabitants. Curious to hear more about the project, we had a word with the Dutch photographer.
“I capture the situations I have little grasp on. Through photography, I create my own handhold in order to look at my life in a more objective way.”
Berber Theunissen strikes us as an intuitive photographer with a great sense of narrative in her photography. There are hints of a story, but the viewer is able to come up with their own version of it. Berber sets the stage and casts the players but leaves room for interpretation. This is what we love about her work, the free associative nature of it. Intimacy, love, friendship are all themes that make their way into her portfolio.
Berber has been on our radar for a long time but we needed a landscape or two in order to go “all right, this totally suits Sunday Mornings at the River.” So when dreamy waterscapes started appearing in her series ‘Frisson’, we felt it was time for a chat.
“After going through bankruptcy, I felt it was time to take a distance, to oversee my development and to understand more of the world. I left for South-America and traveled there for six months, realizing that we live together on a planet, that sharing is a beautiful experience, and that I don’t live to work.”
Naan Eldering is a Dutch storyteller who uses different outlets to reach his audience. He designs, writes and photographs what he observes, in an attempt to help people perceive in a more detailed way, to be more amazed. It wasn’t hard to imagine Eldering walking around the forest as a kid chasing gnomes. It is this amazement we have when we are children, when we venture out into the world that Naan still seems to posses. He shares this amazement on his website called ‘Kijkman’ (Dutch for watchman) where he shares his adventures, writes critical pieces and reflects upon society. His fascination with the human perception and representation of the world seeps through on every page. We spoke to Naan about writing, perceiving in a time where we are drowned in a flood of imagery and his adventures as a travel guide.
“I am challenging myself to explore my fears and memories from my past to overcome my current insecurities; basically using photography as a therapy.”
As we are about the embark on another adventure together with Sunday Mornings at the River’s photographer Roberto Rubalcava in Nepal, we have a little chat with our friend about the different direction his photography is evolving in. From being a poetic fashion photographer to being a poetic documentary photographer, Roberto’s work still has the same effect on our pupils. The subjects he chooses for his documentary work are as melancholic as the portraits he took of his friends in a lake. Roaming to radioactive parts of the world, pointing his camera at the street children of Mozambique and following his friend and fashion designer Amanda Ericsson at the Mexican fabric markets in order to involve the community in sustainable clothing, we can’t wait to work with this multitalented human being in the Everest area.