NEST by Josefien Tondeleir
Josefien mounted two trap cameras (commonly used to capture wildlife) throughout the house. The idea? To document herself during pregnancy and beyond.
Sufficed to say one’s mind does not ponder how to get the perfect shot when you’re actually the one in labor. You don’t want to be thinking about photography and proper framing during contractions or when you’re going in and out of intoxicating pain. So Josefien, well prepared, installed her trap cameras to capture the whole ordeal and catch herself off guard in the moment, transforming.
Her photographs paint a raw and uncensored picture, portraying the photographer over a period of nine months and presenting (human) nature at its peak. As the cameras showed Josefien no mercy and every movement was registered, 86.000 photos were made. In addition to documenting ‘the act’ itself, these cameras became an all seeing eye: the photos tell a tale of euphoria, but they also lay bare the lows: tensions, sadness, struggle and sleep deprivation.
This honesty is what makes Josefiens series so striking. Not only will young parents recognize the thrills and chills of the nine month period and its eventual apotheosis, even the random observer will experience a visceral reaction.
This book packs a punch and smacks you in the face with the energy that keeps all new mothers going: love.
"Can you prepare yourself for motherhood? The final nights before your birth I often thought about the calm before the storm. I allowed myself to be completely immersed in peace, while you were rooting in my belly. I knew that my life would change completely, but you only truly understand once you’ve actually become a mother. It’s like stepping through a gate and there’s no turning back (thankfully). You know what you’re leaving behind, but what’s to come is still a mystery." - Josefien Tondeleir in NEST
For every book sold, Josefien will make a donation to Birthmatters.
Bookdesign: Arne Depuydt
Publishing: The Falabella Stable
Printing: Die Keure, Bruges