Ola Billmont explains how he reacted to the unexpected events of life

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Ola Billmont says about himself:

“I’ve always considered myself as a people person and my curiosity of people made pick up a camera half a decade ago and start photographing. My focus is to make photographic series with medium, and large format cameras.

I have done solo shows and has been included in numerous exhibitions and publications both local and international. I have also been featured and interviewed by publications both in print and online.

In 2016, my first book “En dag på travet – A Day at the Races” was published. The book is a series of photos I made during Stockholm’s annual horse race event Solvalla.It sold out within the first year. Currently, I am working on s personal projects and a new book where I’ve made roadtrips on two continents, Sweden and USA, “Varje dag – Everyday”.”

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About ‘Varje Dag – Everyday’:

Within the space of one week in 2015, both of my parents died. They had lived separate lives and I had not been very close to my father for a long time but the unusual timing of their deaths triggered a reaction in my photography. Varje Dag – Everyday is the result.

Growing up in an average sized town in the middle of Sweden I am fortunate to still have fond memories of spending long, lazy carefree summers at my grandparents house in Dalsland. As I grew up I felt part of the community there and I still remember the quirky characters and the slower pace of everyday life. Like most kids of my generation, I was seeking excitement and I turned my back on this way of life and headed for the big city.

My mother was very ill for some time Before dying and  I took road trips back to my hometown frequently to check up on her. During these visits “home” I started to find a soothing quietness that I had forgotten about – an antidote to the pulsating urban rhythms that  I had become used to in Stockholm.

Over the same time period I happened to spend some time in the USA, making road trips through average sized towns in the middle of the country. I found that there were more similarities than differences when comparing rural Sweden with rural USA. I felt the same soothing quietness and the same cast of quirky characters that I knew when I was growing up. I found that people there were not chasing after constant improvements. People were happy for things to stay the same, taking pleasure in Varje Dag – Everyday. There was something appealing about taking the time to slow down my life. Perhaps I am just seeking a new normality or maybe I am pining for that time when I was growing up with long, lazy summers and that carefree feeling.

Varje Dag – Everyday explores these ideas and the themes of the project also translate in how the work was produced. Working with large format and analog cameras is a slower process that lends itself to nostalgia and a way of life. Taking long drives down random dirt roads, not knowing what you will encounter, hoping that there will be a life affirming moment.

This is what I love doing, this is my new Varje Dag – Everyday

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Time to read
4 min
Words by
Published on
6 July 2018
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