elgian photographer Sebastian Schutyser was born in Bruges in 1968, and grew up in Congo. He took a degree in political science at the University of Ghent, and studied photography at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in the same town. The relation between our natural environment and the spiritual footprint of humankind is an important element in his work. This clearly shows in his ‘Adobe Mosques of Mali’, for which he received international acclaim and the support of The Aga Khan Trust for Culture. His photographs were exhibited at the Noorderlicht Photography Festival, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, the Deutsches Architektur Museum, the Rencontres de la Photographie Africaine de Bamako and the Great Mosque of Djenné, BOZAR in Brussels, the Antwerp Photography Museum and in Korea at the Clayarch Gimhae Museum. He undertook several photographic expeditions to the Rwenzori Mountains in Congo and Uganda. Since 2005 he has been working in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Azerbaijan as a freelance photographer for the Aga Khan Music Initiative in Central Asia. During the last seven years he has dedicated himself to his ‘Ermita’ project in Northern Spain, on early christian and Romanesque hermitages in rural areas. The Spanish word ermita [English: hermitage] refers to an uninhabited or isolated place, a location for spiritual retreat. In Spain vast stretches of thinly populated land and the ruggedness of the terrain have prevented the urban absorption of these isolated sanctuaries.Today what we hold to be a hermitage is an idealized concept. It seems that what really has withstood the erosion of time is a mental construction: the hermitage as the ultimate refuge of modern madness. In an era in which people feel isolated if the battery of their cell phone has died, the notion of spending years without anything but incidental contact with the world is staggering. Because in the end, it’s always about people.
Here below, with Sebastien’s coutesy we give you a short snack of some other cool works made by the artist. The projects: Portraits, Trees and Adobe Mosques of Mali attract our attention as well. To have more information or to get in touch with the artist, we invite you to visit his website below the pictures.