Belgian travel and wildlife photographer Martin Dellicour comes eye to eye with the history of Earth embodied in a herd of muskoxen on the high plateaus of Dovrefjell, Norway.
Growing up in Ardennes, Belgium, visual artist and photographer Martin Dellicour developed an appreciation for the aesthetics of nature early on. Dellicour remembers childhood as taking place outdoors, simply observing. At age fifteen, Dellicour’s parents gave him his first camera, a Nikon F–501, which he regards as “a revelation where the decision of being a photographer was secretly made.”
After studying at the school of art in Liège, Belgium, Dellicour worked independently, producing travel photography, graphic design, and videography. Four-teen years ago, he opened his own creative agency, Studio Breakfast, and later the graphic design atelier C’est Beau.
Pictured is Dellicour’s heedful dance with a herd of majestic muskoxen in Dovrefjell-Sunndalsfjella National Park, Norway—a winter landscape he describes as “an amazing and wild place.” The snow has a power of its own to Dellicour, one that can “change our perception to focus on the simple, essential things, and see the many questions of everyday futility.”
These muskoxen have a similar effect on Dellicour. “When you are in front of them, you feel like you’re facing the history of Earth. Out of time.” Paired with the white, minimalistic landscape, Dellicour demonstrates the transient experience of observation.
“When you are in front of them, you feel like you’re facing the history of Earth. Out of time.”
Dellicour desires to be close with nature, questioning the eyes and minds with which we observe. “It is an inner journey as much as an outdoor experience,” he says about his purpose in capturing natural settings.
“My main subjects are wildlife, nature, landscapes. But behind the subject, I am moreover fascinated by the light, the way light always surprises me in outdoor conditions.” Places visited hundreds of times appear different to the lensman every time. “Nature photography has this quality of keeping an element of unpredictability,” he says. “It’s exciting.”
“My main subjects are wildlife, nature, landscapes. But behind the subject, I am moreover fascinated by the light, the way light always surprises me in outdoor conditions.”
Monochromatic atmospheres characterize Dellicour’s artwork. “The subject is not always recognizable but more of a suggestion.” The indistinct interplay between the wild animals and the still landscape becomes the crux of his work, the essence of what makes him a unique artist. It’s the unpredictability and rawness that draws the viewer to question what visual experience we’re having and why.
Dellicour evaluates his own work through the eyes of others. “It’s quite difficult to know if I’ve got talent or not,” he says. When he finishes one project, he’s off to the next in order to keep the creative mindset moving. Artwork then becomes a mode of transport between ideas, in hopes that others will be able to identify something inside of themselves that reacts to the visual aesthetic presented. In this way Dellicour main- tains freedom of expression, which allows viewers to write their own stories and empathize with his work.
His life, seemingly complex—ever engaging with a new subject in front of the lens, perpetually on the road—Dellicour nevertheless remains simple in lifestyle. “I try to get the best of all the little and big things that happen in my life”…walking in forests, making bread, sharing time with his wife and son. “Sometimes we can’t see the evidence,” he says, “we focus on the bad things or don’t even take the time to focus on anything.” So keeping an element of play is essential to Dellicour’s life, the balance of contemplating, creating, yet liberating via the visual arts. △