“Would you consider being a writer for my book?”
It was somewhere around November of 2014 when I heard that question. I was already then gathering a bit of exposure for always writing stories with my photographs of abandoned places, and Reginald Van de Velde took notice of that. His book project was still shrouded in mystery, but it was intended as the crown jewel of a decade of his exploring, traveling and documenting abandoned places of the world. And doing it pretty damn good.
All he needed was a writer to bring his photographs to life.
This was to be the same concept as my writing endeavors, but on a much grander scale. There would be chapters, not stories. It would take months to get it written, not hours. It would be a book, not a patch of pixels on a flickr page.
As always, when in doubt, say yes and regret it later.
And so I did. The actual writing&designing part was set in stone for May. The deadline – September. As we fondly came to call it later, it was our summer in exile, jokingly referring to the debauchery of the Rolling Stones’ French retreat of the 70s. It turned out to be less debaucherous than I hoped for, but much more dedicated to designing, writing, editing and overall producing of 192 pages of a hardcover photo book. Linen cover and all.
Reginald poured his heart into the design and his photographs, making the book visually flawless in every way, and my words weaved the photographs together into a larger narrative, providing an insight into his thoughts and motivations, all while trying to breathe in new life into places desperately searching for it.
After months of working until dawn, sore eyes and dubious amounts of alcohol, Between Nowhere and Never – Photographs of Forgotten Places was finally complete. A compendium of the journeys into forsaken places all over the world.
The official book launch and expo was held at the Barbé Gallery in Ghent on October 31st 2015. A night filled with excitement and joy, while we signed the copies away and made brave attempts at successful socializing.