Panorama Mesdag presents: Siebe Swart’s Time & Tide Wait for no Man
Storm tide, twilight or sunrise, mist and fog are the ideal conditions for photographer Siebe Swart (1957) to shoot his panoramic photographs. Swart himself describes his Time & Tide series as ‘a journal of a personal voyage of discovery along the Dutch coast’. The monumental pictures convey a sense of vastness, in which the photographer creates the illusion of a primal landscape where time has stood still and there is no trace of human activity. Museum Panorama Mesdag is showing the imposing cycle of black-and-white images for the first time.
Swart chose to create panoramic photographs out of a desire to show the vastness of the landscape as he experienced it on the ground. Visitors get to follow in the photographer’s footsteps and look over his shoulder at hushed images of empty, unspoiled land, with an almost supernatural aura.
Each panorama in the series consists of several separate photographs assembled to create a single fascinating new image. The technique allows Swart to achieve his desired balance between land, air and water, and to define the position of the horizon and the direction and angle of view.
Most of the places Siebe Swart has photographed have distinctive names like Moddergat (‘Mud Hole’), Zuiderhoofd (South Head), Schelphoek (‘Shell Corner’) or Noorderleeg (‘North Gap’). They are remarkable spots located along the frayed edges of the Dutch coast, close to historical reclamation zones, tidal ports or among the salt flats. The exhibition includes a dot map of these locations, as well as a short film by Siebe Swart, Time and Tide wait for no Man, which uses drone images to give the visitor a bird’s-eye view of these special locations.
Art and nature
The Time & Tide series is of immense personal importance to Swart. The project inextricably links art with nature. Nature inspires art, while art enables you to look at a landscape you think you know through different eyes – a conviction Swart shares with Hendrik Willem Mesdag, Museum Panorama Mesdag’s founder and namesake. Mesdag’s nineteenth-century panorama became an ode to the Seinpost Dune – a threatened landscape that needed to be protected from human activity. Like Swart’s photographic series, it obliges us to reflect on the consequences of our own actions. The images making up the Time & Tide series are linked in the photographer’s mind with the threat of rising sea levels due to climate change.
The exhibition Time & Tide can be seen from 17 October 2021 to 27 February 2022 at Museum Panorama Mesdag.
For more information on opening times and COVID entry rules visit:
A publication by Siebe Swart titled Time and Tide wait for no Man has been produced to accompany the event.
October 17, 2021 @ 10:00 am – February 27, 2022 @ 5:00 pm
Museum Panorama Mesdag
2518 AA The Hague
€15.00 (Full price) / €12.00 (Students / Kids 12-18)