Éanna de Fréine is the editor of The Velvet Cell, an independent publishing house. Recently releasing Botanica, a book of stunning photography by Dutch photographer Sander Meisner, de Fréine talks to Aesthetica about the ideas and collaborations behind Meisner’s latest works. Including vivid colours and hidden landscapes, de Fréine enjoys exploring the world through the medium of photography. Botanica is The Velvet Cell’s first large format book and is composed by Meisner who is represented by Brandt Gallery in Amsterdam.
A: What is it that attracted you to producing Botanica?
EF: I’ve been a big fan of Meisner for a long time, we worked closely together in earlier incarnations of The Velvet Cell. When I decided to make our first offset work he was a natural choice. He told me that he had been developing a project over the last few years that had gone from being a side project to his largest and most complete body of work.
A: The photos are incredibly vivid, what is the overall theme of the book?
EF: As a photographer, Meisner has always been interested in the forgotten, neglected parts of the city – the places we tend to pass yet never see. Nature, once a major role player in how cities and towns came to be shaped, has now been sidelined to no mans land. The man made city has strangled it and will remove it without a second thought. Another theme would be the unexpected beauty that’s to be found in such areas. Neglected and ignored, the night can often throw a new light over such areas, gracing them with an elegance they are not often associated with.
A: How important do you think photography is to the way we view the world?
EF: I don’t know how important it is, but it certainly allows us to take step back and see a world that often rushes past us at a million miles an hour with a refreshing and inspiring slowness.
A: Do you have any other exciting projects coming up with The Velvet Cell?
EF: Yes, lots, and I’m looking forward to them all!
A: Do you like to take photos yourself? What is it that really inspires you?
EF: I take photos myself, not as much as I should, but when I do I most often find myself inspired by the city and how it’s recast in a different light at night. Like Meisner I’m attracted to how the city can appear a completely different place at night with artificial lights and shadows. There is a certain beauty when captured right. My biggest inspirations would be Kadar, Crewdson and Hido.
For more information see www.thevelvetcell.com
All images credited to Sander Meisner – Botanica.