Bertil Nilsson: Circus, Dance and Pushing the Boundaries

Swedish born Bertil Nilsson’s photographs capture the extensions of freedom capable by the human form. Focussing mainly on dancers and contemporary circus performers, his work evolves from the familiar, pushing limits of balance and contortion to show the body in its rawest beauty. Nilsson sends the message that the body is not something to be covered up but to be celebrated; its capabilities should be explored and played with.

Nilsson currently works in London producing commercial and personal creations through photography and moving image. Alongside this his work is still showcased around the world. Most recently, his ongoing project Naturally has seen a solo exhibit in The Netherlands’ Galerie Wilms. Naturally centres around photographing dancers within nature, created over many countries including Spain, England, Germany and Australia. The end results are both devilish and playful; colours contrast subjects from their backgrounds whilst the bodies themselves move with a vigour otherwise devoid from their gentle surroundings. Naturally, like all of Nilsson’s work, mesmerises and educates in the movement of the human body.


Bertil Nilsson Circus Artists1 Bertil Nilsson Contemporary Circus 2Bertil Nilsson Dancer 2Bertil Nilsson Naturally 1 Bertil Nilsson Naturally 2 Bertil Nilsson Contemporary CircusBertil-Nilsson-Dance-Photography-Beautiful-BizarreBertil Nilsson Nude Dancer PhotographyBertil Nilsson Undisclosed Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist


Published in 2011, Bertil Nilsson has also created his first book Undisclosed: Images of the Contemporary Circus Artist, complete with an essay by Laura Noble, Director of L A Noble Gallery in London. What started as a way to document the circus practice developed to take away the props, costumes and lighting, leaving only the physical bodies and the process of creating performances.

Currently, Bertil is working on his upcoming instillation Luminescence which is to be showcased in the Roundhouse in London, England. The site-specific piece has been commissioned especially for CircusFest 2014 which aims to show contemporary circus from around the world over the five week event. For more information on Luminescence, click here.


About Author

Based in the UK, Natalia Joruk lives amongst a mass of art, nature, curious trinkets and green tea. As Deputy Editor, Natalia works closely with the Editor-in-Chief, supporting with the design, curation and overall growth of Beautiful Bizarre and the annual Beautiful Bizarre Art Prize. She also oversees distribution of the magazine, so drop her a line if you know someone who would like to stock! Utilising her experience as a freelance writer, Natalia also engages with editorial writing and proofreading for both the Beautiful Bizarre Magazine website and print publication. One of her favourite perks is getting to know artists, gallery owners and their teams personally, so feel free to email her if there is anything she can help you with – or just to connect!


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