A photograph that made me think – ‘Naturally page 39’ by Bertil Nilsson

This series of images makes me think about our place within nature by working with naked dancers in extreme locations. Throughout the series Nilsson places dancers in stark locations with a lot of negative space, which I feel shows how small our place is within nature. Furthermore, it makes me think about how we are vulnerable because nature will always have the upper hand, no matter how much we, as humans, try to take control and alter the planet.

In this image in particular, I think that the dancer looks vulnerable as he has his back to the tide, and we don’t know which way it is moving. His body language and the way that his face hidden also further this feeling of vulnerability and make me think that the dancer is relinquishing control back to nature. Also, his vulnerability is seen through the fact that he is naked, and this makes me think about our history and our place within nature in the past, compared to how now the majority of people live very separately from nature.

As well as this, Nilsson makes you feel shocked upon seeing these images by painting the dancers in varying colours. Here, the contrast between the black sand, white water, and red body, invoke a feeling of ‘unreal’ and ‘otherworldliness’.

Ellie Burd

L1 Photography, University of the West of England


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