Berndaut Smilde was born in 1978 in Groningen, The Netherlands, he currently lives and works in Amsterdam. Benrdnaut holds an MA from the Frank Mohr Institute, Groningen.



Using only smoke and water, Dutch artist creates clouds with a lifespan of approximately 10 seconds: just enough time to capture them through the lens of a camera. To create his clouds, Smilde chooses location with few requirements: a cold space and a little damp, with no air circulation. First, water is misted in the air and then smoke is issued from a machine — the combination of the two creates Smilde’s artworks. When working, Berndnaut can create up to 100 of his ‘clouds’ in order to capture the cloud. He typically works with architectural photographers.

In the ever-expanding series ‘Nimbus’, Smilde photographs his cloud-like apparitions in locations various around the world — from coal mines to co-working spaces and cathedrals. In an interview with Wired, Smilde explained “I see them as temporary sculptures of almost nothing — the edge of materiality. It looks like you can dive into them or grab them, but they just fall apart. There’s a duality there that I really like, where you’re trying to achieve this ideal thing that then just collapses moments later.”


All Rights reserved to Berndnaut Smilde

Back to Top