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Montage of eight photos of a collapsed shed from all angles on white cover of 'STAL, Vernacular Animal Sheds', by Hannibal Books.


Vernacular Animal Sheds

By (author) Servaas Van Belle
Introduction by Stephan Vanfleteren


  • Presents the latest photo series from Belgian photographer Servaas Van Belle
  • Won second place at the 2023 Sony World Photography Awards
Full Description

For this unique book, photographer Servaas Van Belle scouted every corner of Belgium to find just the right kind of shed, always photographing them in the same perfect lighting conditions. And for Van Belle ‘perfect’ means in a haze of fog.

Livestock shelters in meadows and fields are so common in the Belgian landscape and culture that nobody ever pays them any attention. Nonetheless, the countryside offers quite a range of architectural gems. These sheds and barns are the product of man and nature, quietly radiating a poignant if decaying beauty. They come in many shapes and sizes, are constructed from motley materials (often recycled) and exhibit a varied color palette. Clearly showing the ravages of time, they tell wordless stories that Servaas Van Belle can capture like no other.

Features an introduction by Stephan Vanfleteren.

Text in English and Dutch.

About the Author

The Belgian photographer Servaas Van Belle (b.1978) grew up in Knokke-Heist and studied 3D multimedia at the KASK in Ghent. At that time photography only played a supporting role, but what was already noticeable was the absence of people in his work. During his student years he went as an Erasmus student to Athens to follow a course in sculpture. Afterwards he completed an academic teacher training course. Soon he left for Senegal in West Africa. What was meant to be a trip of a few months turned into a stay of several years. Among other things, he developed a primary school there.

After seven years in Dakar, he returned to Belgium in 2009, where he began to photograph more intensively and specialized in interior photography. Gradually his work took on a recognizable character. Van Belle has a great interest in architecture and constructions that at first sight seem banal such as utility buildings, billboards, hunting and observation towers. Transience and the influence of time are key concepts here. His photo series have already been published in De Standaard and de Volkskrant.

Hannibal Books
22nd Jun 2022
USA & Canada
12.6 in x 9.45 in
192 Pages
119 color
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