Ilse Wolf: Weather Permitting – signed copy


The 23-year-old documentary photographer Ilse Wolf graduated from the Art Academy AKV St. Joost (Breda, the Netherlands) with ‘Weather Permitting’. She wondered what it would be like to escape from the performance society. To be disconnected 24/7 and not to share everything via social media.

Without telephone and internet access she travelled to Caldey Island, a small island off the coast of Wales. A journey in which she left behind the control freak and telephone addict and in which she looked for solitude. Armed with a pen and a camera a unique book originated that simply by its serene design captures the atmosphere on the island. As if you can hear the never hushed wind around you.

Caldey is a miniscule island off the coast of Wales where time stopped. Once a lively island with children, a school and a village hall, now a base for a secluded life. No supermarket, no street lights. Only a core of twenty-one inhabitants, among them twelve monks, who are one with nature. The islanders depend on the tide, the light and on each other.

What is it like to live a secluded life like that? What does the island bring them? What motivates them? By capturing portraits, interiors, landscape and island scenes in a unique way, Ilse Wolf created a nuanced, complex image of an exceptional, closed community.


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‘In September 2013 I was 22 years old. I had just started my graduation year of Photography. 

Living in a society in which every is done very quickly, in which there is a continuous pressure to be better than the others. Addicted to social media and a control freak of the highest order. A society in which I felt lonely very often. Lonely also because I had been ill for a long time.

But what is loneliness really? Does that even exist? I wondered what it would be like to be away from the rat race. To be unreachable 24 hours a day. To be really alone. Just to see what each day would bring you. To be dependent on nature.

That’s how I came to Caldey Island. A small island off the coast of Wales with twelve monks and sixteen inhabitants. Without streetlights and without a supermarket. Back in time, it seems. On 2 January 2014 I got on the plane to Bristol for the first time. Armed with only an old Nokia and 5 Euros call credit for emergencies. No internet!

I spent seven weeks at this remote place; an island no bigger than 2 square kilometres. The weeks on Caldey were magnificent, hard, beautiful, frustrating, lonely, scary, intense and fantastic. I have tried to bring these feelings together in the book ‘Weather Permitting’. 

A book that will take you momentarily away from society. It will make you think about how it was and still can be.

After my return home I spent weeks on selection, writing the texts and design, together with Linda Braber (Only in Burundi, Mr. Right). And so ‘Weather Permitting’ originated. – Ilse Wolf. 


‘They say that if you’re at Caldey for one year, you can still get back. 

Just walk out the front door. 

The second year, you will have to jump out of the window.

The third year, you just can’t.

Many people decided to come here for a few months.

Like Blackie.

And Simon.

And they have been here for forty years.’

Extra informatie


Weather Permitting


Ilse Wolf


Ilse Wolf


Linda Braber – Beeldish


Aerial Media Company






17 x 25,3 x 1,2 cm






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