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JH Engström’s Långt Från Stockholm
From Långt Från Stockholm by J H Engström © J H Engström courtesy Morel Books

A visual love letter to Sweden’s wild beauty

Photographer JH Engstrom pays homage to his home country with a look at its sprawling landscapes and the people who live there

Co-founded by Ben Freeman of Ditto Press and Deano Jo of Real Gold, Future Artefacts celebrates the art of media in its physical form – music, publishing, art and fashion – by championing the craftsmanship that goes into each object, and how they fit in the digital age. In the lead up to the Future Artefacts fair in October, the duo are sharing some of their favourite publications with Dazed

Swedish photographer JH Engstrom’s book Långt fårn Stockholm (translating to Far from Stockholm) pays homage to his home country. Seeing the magic in his motherland from an early age, Engstrom began photographing the Swedish woods at age 15, his career then led him to Paris in his 20s to become Mario Testino’s assistant before heading back to Europe.

From the isolated communities to the sprawling beauty of Swedish nature, Långt fårn Stockholm also provides a window into life amongst its landscape, particularly that of its young people, and the book sees such photographs juxtaposed along those of local rock bands, garage stations, fish heads, disappearing roads, portraits of teenagers and a battered hand.

Future Artefacts’ Freeman and Jo explain, “Engstrom constructs narratives with his sequencing to create a sense of the work as a whole, rather than individual images. He switches between black and white and colour, and the photographs, taken at different times in the day, give a sense of the passing of time. Images that may have been thought ruined and discarded by others are here enhanced by Engstrom’s photographic mishaps – light leaks and colour shifts.”

Published by MÖREL Books – a London-based company headed up by Aron Mörel, who, as Freeman and Jo say, due to his deep personal involvement sets MÖREL’s work apart from larger publishers. “Like other smaller publishers, the team is so small that he is really closely involved in, and cares about, each aspect of a book’s production,” and has worked with everyone from well-known to emerging names.

On the book itself, Freeman and Jo say the book’s oversized shape is particularly alluring – just one reason for its inclusion in Future Artefacts’ line-up. “It comes with an inbuilt sense of temporality – from the chunky halftone cover to the photographs contained inside, in which the fashion and style of the subjects clothing denote the ambiguous rural aesthetic,” they explain. “It has a unique feeling and the size, texture and format suit the content perfectly.”

Långt Från Stockholm is available now. MÖREL Books will exhibit at Future Artefacts, a three-day event held in October where the public can purchase and peruse from their favourite producers under one roof. Keep an eye on this site for more