Valderredible and The Immortals

In 2015 Celia Tejada invited Nathan for the first time to visit Valderredible. Ever since then he kept on returning to the valley every year. There he has found his second home.  

In 2016, he undertook the project of The Immortals, of which Celia had dreamed for more than three decades. 

The talent of Nathan DeHart as a portraitist made him the ideal person to make that dream come true.  The Immortals is a story of the Valderredible Valley through the faces of the people who have lived and lived it.

„The photographs are honouring the people, the life they have lived and their experience and wisdom. Being a stranger here and not speaking the language could create some distortion, I tried to be careful and sensitive.

My role of a non-Spanish speaking photographer allowed me to be an isolated observer. I was hearing variations of tone, pitch, tempo, not knowing what was talked about; being somewhat distant helped me to be more keen to subtleties of expressions, to catching the moments, trying to anticipate…; it all made me watch much more closely for the moments that would bring out the light and depth of a person. 

I don’t have words to describe the feeling, I feel gifted because I got to share their presence, it touches something very deep in myself that words cannot describe. I do feel very honored for being given this experience.

Experiencing Celia’s love for the place is palpable, infectious. Her strength comes from her roots, and that is something I gravitate towards myself; having a base and solid ground. 

I do have some Spanish heritage myself, in a sense there is an element of me that feels that something about the Spanish life is mine as well. Tasting some of that experience, returning to it, gets me in touch with the very vague part of my history, it touches on the sense of real belonging that the soul needs. 

The feeling of belonging is best illustrated at the dinner Celia is known for organizing, with friends, food; archetypal situation, which brings a sense of community, knowing that there is a place at the table for those who find the belief, the faith......

It’s about experiencing the people, embracing their presence, honoring their experience in history, touching on those roots. I have been finding a bit of that for myself here, as well.”

 

Valley Elders