I can’t find my pen, it’s gotten dark now, but it’s ok, a pencil will write the same words. The colours of the world have changed so much in the last few hours. I didn’t even notice, I was lost in another world, flipping the pages of my book until it got hard for me to read the words. The sun had set without me noticing and with it slowly the light had disappeared. I looked up in utter astonishment, and when I did my breath was taken away. Water drops and layers of dew and steam fogged the windows. Obscuring what was outside, covering the world which was now in warm shades of red, orange and yellow where street lights were turned on and in shades of deep dark blue and purple everywhere else.
We have been hinting at it for a while and sometimes showed some sneak previews, but today is the happy day where we finally launch Hannelore Commers’ first solo publication ‘Hiraeth’ (try pronouncing that really quickly six times in a row). Because of this joyous fact, we sat down with our favourite Belgian girl and talked about photography, about growing up and about the meaning of that Welsh word she picked as the title of her latest body of work. This girl keeps amazing us, not only with her pictures but with her words as well.
“Dad?” I can hear the click of the connection that’s been made, a throat being cleared on the other side of the line. “Dad, I wish you could see this right now. I am standing on top of the Acropolis.” I listen to my father while he ruffles some papers and all of a sudden home doesn’t feel that far away any more. “Imagine those who stood there before you,” he answered, skipping the ‘hi kid, how are you’ bit of the conversation. “I just did dad, that’s why I rang you. Remember the stories you used to tell me about Socrates and Plato?” “You were very little.” “Yeah, but still. Listen, I got to go dad. I love you.” I hang up the phone and get my arse kicked by sadness. For a minute I see my father very clearly, behind his cluttered desk, his red reading glasses on the tip of his nose. I do what I always do when I feel sad, I take a picture. If my father can’t come to the mountain, the mountain will come to my father.
By Rebecca Rysdyk
The trail was virtually non existent. The sign was there, pointing at it, but all I could see was an overgrown piece of woodland, thorns in my hands, blueberries scattered around the place and foliage so thick that I could not see the sun. I walked in there anyway, only to stand still for ages on the spot where the sun came through the leafs of an oak tree that had already began to shed. I had been walking in the sun all the way up here but I only came to appreciate it in the middle of a dark forest with a burn of an overlooked nettle on my leg and a piece of fern in my hair.
Words by Rebecca Rysdyk
Photo by Théo Gosselin whom we published in issue #3
“Yes, but you were lucky,” she said, putting her cup down on the saucer. It was a beautiful day in May, the birds were happy and the sun was out. I thought about the road I traveled so far and how hard I worked to stay on it. “Lucky?” I asked, “what do you mean lucky?”
She looked at me. “You’re lucky to do the things that you love.” I stared out of the window and listened to the clock strike twelve. It was noon, we were in London, my favourite city in the world and the place I now called home; a train passed by over our heads and none of it had anything to do with luck.
“Is it snowing where you are? All the world that I see from my tower is draped in white and the flakes are coming down as big as pop-corns. It’s late afternoon – the sun is just setting (a cold yellow colour) behind some colder violet hills, and I am up in my window seat using the last light to write to you.” ― Jean Webster
Belgian born photographer Catherine Lemblé keeps surprising us with high quality work, whether she takes her camera into the mountains or points it at the humans in her surroundings, this girl does not cease to amaze. Being on a radar for ages, we felt we really wanted to share some of her outdoor work. Poetic images of snowfall and solitude made us wonder about the woman behind the lens.
Austin Schermerhorn’s images are hauntingly beautiful. Scenes in nature, usually involving women in a black and white setting look like fragments from the past. There is a certain sense of nostalgia in his images that grabs you by the hair and drops you in between two worlds. We were curious about the man that creates these worlds and decided to ask him a couple of questions.
“It was a sort of ferocious, quiet beauty, the sort that wouldn’t let you admire it. The sort of beauty that always hurt.” ― Maggie Stiefvater, The Dream Thieves
Daniel Santalla’s dog was the most beautiful dog we had ever seen. A picture of it in the back of a car lured us into the the magical world the photographer inhabits. Daniel’s work is whimsical, with pastel colours and dreamy settings, a celebration of the human body. We talked to the 27 year old photographer from Galicia about spending time in nature and doing what you are most passionate about.
First photography was a way to hide myself, hide behind the camera. Now it has become a way to show myself.
I remember bumping into Miet’s work online a couple of years back. She is one of those photographers that stayed with me through the years and I would go back to every once in a while to silently watch her progress and skills evolve. Miet van Hee’s work is raw, honest and grabs you by the hair. She portrays herself, her surroundings and the people in her life and creates a great sense of narrative without forcing a viewer in a certain direction. Her work is very voyeuristic, like we found the photographer’s diary in a drawer somewhere and are flipping through it, even though we are not allowed to do so. I was attracted to the work, not only because of the great visual language, but most of all for the honesty and the sense of struggle, usually with the self. The search for what it is you actually want from life, the impact others have on our hopes and dreams, our sense of self. But I’ll shut up about my interpretation of Miet’s work and let her speak for herself.
“The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.” ― Confucius
The sports hall is plastered with posters of western sports events, the faces of heroes that accomplished fame through physical activity, bucket loads of sweat and perseverance. The floor is covered in mats and Nepalese youngsters; a toddler staggers around in between stretching adults, in between cones that fly through the air; a young woman slides down the silks that are attached to the framework that holds the roof up. We marvel at the contagiously playful optimism, the graceful girls hanging upside down, the boys standing on their hands with traces of their past only visible through the physical scars that sometimes show when a shirt lifts up or some hair slides out of place. We marvel at the former band of outsiders that is now the family of ‘Circus Kathmandu.’