"It has been a very introspective and interesting process for me. I have written a lot and reflected on the idea of girl-adult... For months I got to have a routine of self-care and self-knowledge thanks to the sea and this paradisiacal place that for me is this corner of the Empordà that has helped me grow."
Artist: Nia Delfau
Project: Este Mar
Este Mar is a series of new works developed over the last three years in the coastal village where Nia lives in Catalonia.
After a period working with Osamu Yokonami in Tokyo, Nia chose to move to a small village in Empordà on the Catalan coast, instead of returning to her native Barcelona. She comments:
“I instantly fell in love with this village. It’s a magical location, but I don't know exactly where the feeling came from. I think it connects me with childhood memories of spending time on the Costa Brava with my parents and being in Galicia with my mother’s side of the family. A simple way of life, lived in close contact with nature”.
Working in both art and fashion, Nia most often shoots her subjects in the water or on the shoreline, reflecting the importance the sea holds in her life.
Since the move, Nia has invited women to stay at her home and be photographed in an intimate and natural setting. Sometimes these were family and friends, other times it was someone she had just met and become fascinated by. To some, she wrote a letter about how she perceived the connection between them, which was then read during an early six o’clock breakfast together. Shortly afterwards the photographs were taken down on the beach or in the sea, just as the sun was coming up.
It was always women brave enough to get into the character and play with Nia’s own sensibility, working together with trust and freedom in the early morning light, there’s a sense that here and now nothing more is needed. These women have helped Nia to grow as a photographer and as a person too.
The exhibition shows a selection of works from this project by Nia Delfau, in which women are the main characters. Sensual and playful.
KIKO : How was the idea of the book born?
NIA DELFAU : For a long time I had the need to publish a book as my personal project. I was very excited to be able to reflect this stage in a few pages and to be able to share it. The idea of making a book was born in parallel with the idea of the exhibition I recently had in Barcelona. The idea of having an object book with my work and being able to move it around the world.
K : Was it clear and well-thought, or did it change and evolve with time?
ND : It evolved over time. At the beginning I was thinking of making a Diary about my experience in Tokyo but in the end I preferred to prioritize 'Este Mar'. Once I decided that it would be the sea series, I started to draw what I imagined.
K : What was the process like?
ND : It was very interesting. It connected me with my stage as a graphic designer, I love making books, I really enjoy the process (selecting paper, design, format, colors...).
K : How was your experience with the project and with the subjects?
ND : The experience is being very enriching, on the one hand the work of photographing women who inspire me and serve as a reflection for me to grow personally and professionally, it's great. And now that I have the book, being able to take it to the bookstores and feel that someday those moments at sea will become part of the libraries of the people who support my work, makes me very happy.
K : What is the main message behind the book? The main themes or ideas?
ND : It has been a very introspective and interesting process for me. I have written a lot and reflected on the idea of girl-adult... This is why in some images Natalia appears trying to do a somersault or in another image some legs with an eggplant, symbol of fertility, in Japan. For months I got to have a routine of self-care and self-knowledge thanks to the sea and this paradisiacal place that for me is this corner of the Empordà that has helped me grow.
© Nia Delfau
Editor and Interview : Kiko