If you go down to the woods today…Photographer Ellie Davies explores the natural landscape and our historical and cultural relationship with forests.
My favourite type of walk is a woodland walk – here I feel you can fully escape the outside world. Bendy paths, canopies overhead, crunching of leaves underfoot, the mystery of what lies ahead pulls me every time. Nothing beats it. Artist Ellie Davies embraces this same passion for forests in the UK with her photography. Her work is rooted in the cultural representation of this natural landscape and connection to it:
UK forests have been shaped by human processes over thousands of years and include ancient woodlands, timber forestry, wildlife reserves and protected Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty. As such, the forest represents the confluence of nature and culture, of natural landscape and human activity. Forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairytale and myth, places of enchantment and magic as well as of danger and mystery.
Take a turn through a fantasy realm with a woods filled with stars! My favourite series is ‘Stars 2014’. These works hold a sense of wonder and draw you into its mysterious depths. With this series, Davies aims to address the distance felt between our urban environment and the natural world by encouraging us to explore and to not feel intimidated or alienated.
Against this cultural backdrop my work explores the fabricated nature of landscape by making a variety of temporary and non-invasive interventions in the forest, which place the viewer in the gap between reality and fantasy. Creating this space encourages the viewer to re-evaluate the way in which their relationship with the landscape is formed, and the extent to which it is a product of cultural heritage or personal experience.
Find your path through the forest and start exploring more of Ellie Davies work on her website
All images are copyright: Ellie Davies