Art in a virtual reality: Jimmy Nelson’s Art Gallery brings culture home

As the art world continues to adapt to our new virtual reality, the Jimmy Nelson art gallery is a digital art platform that offers the real – yet unreal – deal. By opening up this digital space, Jimmy Nelson hopes to lower the barrier that exists in visiting art galleries. By creating an online space where everybody, on a global level, can discover and enjoy his iconic artworks in an innovative way, Jimmy Nelson wishes to spark a new inclusive art wave, in which accessibility for all is key.


Today, January the 11th 2022, the acclaimed artist Jimmy Nelson launches his new virtual art gallery, starting with a breathtaking art show titled ‘The Last Sentinels’. The selection on view is curated by the Jimmy Nelson Studio and features more than 15 art works, brought to life by an audio tour narrated by Jimmy Nelson himself. Running through March the 8th, this exhibition invites visitors to follow the footsteps of Indigenous peoples and to celebrate them as our new role models, while witnessing the awe-inspiring richness of the Indigenous way of life. The Last Sentinels is an all-encompassing art exhibition in a virtual reality that reconnects visitors to themselves, one another, and the natural world. 

We need to protect Indigenous cultures to protect the planet from ecocide; the red thread connecting all Indigenous communities is their respect for the land. This 5% of the population protects 80% of the Earth’s remaining biodiversity. We need these cultures to help save the environment.

Photographic artist Jimmy Nelson

This is one of the main ideas behind the show.  The Last Sentinels promotes environmental and cultural guardianship by immersing visitors into the world of Indigenous cultures who are protecting the natural planet. 

By making The Last Sentinels, Jimmy Nelson and his team hold up a mirror to humanity; they invite us to see and reflect on ourselves through the eyes of the other.

Since early childhood, I have strongly felt that the whole world has the potential to be a gallery for all of us, although it is only now that as a maturing artist that I feel my roots are deep enough to become the tree that I have always felt I could be. A tree of truth that can reach up and reconnect to the beauty of humanity. Works of art have the potential to last forever and the exhibitions thereof are like flowers that bloom on a tree of hope, to exist as memories, pressed between the pages of our souls.

Artist Jimmy Nelson 

For the selection of images used in the exhibition, click here. Please contact us for the high-res version.

For press requests, contact the Jimmy Nelson Studio at

+31 (0)20 7220925

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About Jimmy Nelson

Jimmy Nelson (UK, 1967) started working as a photographer in 1987. Having spent ten years at a Jesuit boarding school in the North of England, he set off on his own to traverse the length of Tibet on foot (1985). The journey lasted two years and upon his return his visual diary, featuring revealing images of a previously inaccessible Tibet, was published.

Soon after (1987) he was commissioned to cover a variety of culturally newsworthy themes for many of the world-leading publications ranging from the Russian involvement in Afghanistan and the ongoing strife between India and Pakistan in Kashmir to the beginning of the war in former Yugoslavia.

In early 1994 he and his Dutch ex-wife Ashkaine Hora Adema produced Literary Portraits of China. A coffee-table book about all indigenous cultures in China and their translated literature. From 1997 onwards, Jimmy undertook commercial advertising assignments for many of the world’s leading brands. Meanwhile, he spent his whole life accumulating images of indigenous cultures.

In 2010 he began his journey to create the artistic document that became Before They Pass Away, which was published in October 2013. Its success and the responses to it have enabled and encouraged Jimmy to continue this journey. In October 2018, Nelson published the first interactive book Homage to Humanity, for which he visited another unique 34 indigenous cultures around the globe. The book is accompanied by the 2019 Webby Award-winning mobile application that makes it possible to scan every image in the book and bring them to life with exclusive films, interviews and 360 ̊ film material. This allows people to see the making of the work and to understand the process behind it.

Today Jimmy is using an 8x10 analogue plate camera to bring the project to its next level. Jimmy strongly believes that if you change the way you look at people, the people you look at change. And if that change is powerful enough, it will gather momentum to affect the whole of humanity. A message that today he is promoting through talks at international conferences and museum exhibitions. With the proceedings of his art projects, the Jimmy Nelson Foundation was set up to take it a step further in supporting the communities on the ground.