Berndnaut Smilde was born in 1978 in Groningen, The Netherlands, and currently, he lives and works in Amsterdam. He is known for his series of photographs Nimbus where he captures a temporal moment of presence in a specific location. In his artistic explorations, Berndnaut focuses on illusions within reality, the surreal moments. For example, those that arise when clouds float indoors and not outdoors like in Nimbus.
The very first Nimbus was a photographic registration of a tiny cloud. Produced in a scale model of a classical museum space (6m2), the work was featured in an off-space internet gallery. However, after that, it took Berndnaut Smilde two years to perfect the rain cloud into Nimbus II.
In 2012 Berndnaut Smilde created Nimbus II: a hovering indoor cloud in the empty setting of a sixteenth-century chapel in Hoorn, a small town in Holland. For that, he needed a smoke machine; a highly increased level of humidity in the space, and some dramatic lighting. In Smilde’s hands, a semi-opaque cloud of tiny water drops turned into an ambiguous dramatic sight.
‘On the one hand, I wanted to create an ominous situation. You could see the cloud as a sign of misfortune. You could also read it as an element out of the Dutch landscape paintings in a physical form in a classical museum hall,’ — Berndnaut Smilde.