I see them as temporary sculptures of almost nothing – the edge of materiality, it looks like you can dive into them or grab them, but they just fall apart. There’s a duality that I really like where you’re trying to achieve this ideal thing that then collapses just moments later. – Berndnaut Smiled
Smilde, who hails from the Netherlands, seems to find joy, or meaning, in doing something that would drive many of us crazy – he spends his life creating things that fall apart in a few seconds. There is a certain kind of wonder in seeing something, in particular an artwork, that you know is about to disappear. The clouds, from a series of Smilde’s called ‘Nimbus’, would last roughly 10 seconds so you better start appreciating it the second it appears.
Smilde likes to juxtapose the softness of the cloud with hard surroundings and likes to work with photographers skilled in architectural photography so that the rigid surroundings can emphasise the cloud.
These clouds are made by using smoke, dust and water vapour in a carefully controlled environment, where slight variables can throw out the whole attempt.
Smilde is intrigued by the idea of creating impermanent beauty in everyday spaces.