Bertil Nilsson: Naturally
London-based photographer Bertil Nilsson recently announced that he has started working on putting together ‘Naturally’, his upcoming book inspired by the ongoing series with the same title, which he describes as “a personal journey of exploration”.
Showing a great interest in movement and human form, collaborating extensively with contemporary dancers and circus performers, Bertil Nilsson explores in this project both the landscape and the connection between man and nature, which he constantly questions. The perfectly still contorted bodies, the expressiveness of the dance gestures, the nude postures, organic and artificial at the same time, the visually powerful color contrasts filled with meaning and emotion, all add together a symbolic layer that guides the viewer towards multiple unexpected interpretations. Despite the contrasts and tension, the works reveal an extraordinary equilibrium, while the dancers rather become part of nature, fully absorbed in the peaceful surroundings, than resisting it, leaving no feeling of intrusion, but of a silent and harmonious communion and shared experiences – of calmness, of suffering or liberation.
The artist links the series to the sense of adventure that has defined his childhood in Sweden, where he would spend a lot of time in the forest: “My interventions took on a theme of tension between order and chaos. I like to align, structure, analyse and ultimately control – in a visual sense – the world around me. The dancers with their free expression confront me with an opportunity to let go of a bit of my control and let the chaos unfold. In a way the dancer in my work also comes to embody my original childhood playfulness.”
All images © Bertil Nilsson
Images from ‘Naturally’ are currently being exhibited as part of ‘Sounds of Silence’, a group show at the CODA Museum in the Netherlands.