An Inspiration: E.Tautz

Ahead of E.Tautz’s LCM presentation, Patrick Grant of E.Tautz explains how he found inspiration in photographs of lower league European football from the mid-90s

Calerina, Switzerland by Hans van der Meer
Calerina, Switzerland by Hans van der Meer

“At the start of the 1995 football season, Hans van der Meer, a Dutch photographer, began a project which would then run for 10 years. Whilst travelling around Europe, he photographed lower league football matches: the players, the spectators, the playing fields, the landscapes, and townscapes in which they sat.

“Van der Meer painted a compelling picture of the lower league’s extraordinary diversity and its anomalies, but also the striking similarities that exist between these men of Europe as they play out their sporting fantasies. It’s epic, tragic, and often faintly comic. A cheek by jowl with everyday life. His images tell the story of a sporting struggle. Accidental spectators watching bemusedly from doorways, car tires for benches, priest’s vestments, livestock grazing, washing, waving on washing lines like so many scarves on terraces.

“We’ve always enjoyed and been enjoyed by sports clothes. It harks back to the brand’s heritage. We like the shapes and the motifs, the stripes, hoops and chevrons. But we also like the oddness of the everyday, which van der Meers’ work captured.”