Ever hear of the term “the elephant in the room?” In this case, it’s a cloud in the room. Berndnaut Smilde says he has always been interested with “duality, in between states, inside and outside, temporality, and function of materials.” The photographic series from the Dutch-born artist called Nimbus centers around creating a cloud indoors and taking a picture of it at the right moment before it dissipates.
Creating indoor clouds involves reducing air activity in the empty space, spraying water around the area where he wants the cloud formation to be, and a smoke machine to usher in the star into the spotlight. The process may seem simple enough but according to Smilde, it can take hundreds of tries before he gets the right cloud to photograph since he has no control over it. As for the experience, he hopes to achieve “a collective memory so for a very short moment, people are connected to the space” and to summon differing emotions from walking into an empty hall and just seeing a rain cloud there. This kind of creative thinking also led to The in Cloud collection, where Harper’s Bazaar teamed up with Smilde to photograph legendary fashion icons in stunning spaces with a cloud in the room. The result is a masterful collaboration of stunning photographs and a look into how each designer connects with the cloud imagery.