Faraway/Nearby: Jan Töve documents a delightful trip to the Swedish countryside

Stora Levene, Västergötland, 2007 © Jan Töve

"What is it like to return to the place of one’s childhood? When one returns to the countryside, far away from the hustle and bustle of the city, far from one’s own life and creative work?" These are the questions that kickstarted Jan Töve’s photography series Faraway/Nearby.

His photographs of his home region are lyrical dabs of memory, the wide-eyed absorption of changes, a laconic stocktaking of a present-day somewhere. For a period just short of ten years (2007–16), the Swedish photographer and publicist returned time after time, at different points during the year, portrayed landscape as well as inhabitants, and discovered an individual rhythm.

Interested in how people deal with their surroundings and traditions, he explored the challenges posed by nature. In this series, Töve, who has produced numerous publications with photographs of nature and landscapes, found new structures and forms, for instance a recurring red that runs through the entire series — perhaps the signal of a defiant 'situatedness', a want-to-be-and-stay-here.

The collection is now available in a stunning coffee table book. Discover more at hatjecantz.de.

Main image: Stora Levene, Västergötland, 2007 © Jan Töve | All images courtesy of Hatje Cantz

Asunden, Västergötland © Jan Töve

Asunden, Västergötland © Jan Töve

Härna, Västergötland, 2015 © Jan Töve

Härna, Västergötland, 2015 © Jan Töve

Odensberg, Västergötland, 2013 © Jan Töve

Odensberg, Västergötland, 2013 © Jan Töve

Od, Västergötland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Od, Västergötland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Koppom, Värmland, 2013 © Jan Töve

Koppom, Värmland, 2013 © Jan Töve

Utteros, Halland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Utteros, Halland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Öra, Västergötland, 2012 © Jan Töve

Öra, Västergötland, 2012 © Jan Töve

Broddarp, Västergötland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Broddarp, Västergötland, 2011 © Jan Töve

Uvered, Västergötland, 2012 © Jan Töve

Uvered, Västergötland, 2012 © Jan Töve