Come with Me -
New Landscape Photography by Ellie Davies
The Print House Gallery, 18 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
Private View: 20th October 2011 6pm – 9pm
Exhibition Dates: 21th October – 20th November 2011
Opening Times: Monday – Friday 9am – 5pm, weekends by appointment only.
Forward by Miranda Gavin, Hotshoe Magazine
Come with Me presents four series’ of landscape photography made by Ellie Davies in The New Forest between 2008 and 2011. Davies has intervened in areas of the forest landscape to create images that express her relationship to the forest, and though each body of work stands alone as a distinct series, together they trace the trajectory of Davies’ on-going exploration of the forest as a cultural landscape.
Located on the south coast of England, The New Forest is a landscape that has been shaped by human processes over thousands of years and includes ancient woodlands and timber plantations. As such, the forest represents the confluence of nature and culture, of natural landscape and human activity. Forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairy tale and myth; places of enchantment and magic as well as of danger and mystery. In recent cultural history they have come to be associated with psychological states relating to the unconscious.
Against this cultural backdrop, Davies performs small acts of engagement as she responds to the landscape using a variety of strategies, such as creating pools of light on the forest floor, as well as using craft materials such as paint, paper and wool. The final images all capture the culmination of her artistic forays in the forest; a golden tree introduced into a thicket shimmers in the darkness, painted paths snake through the undergrowth, and strands of wool are woven between trees.
Davies’ interventions, however, are more than decoration; they represent a personal and intuitive response to a specific environment, one that is both a World Heritage site and a National Park. In the process of producing these photographs, Davies transforms the natural world before her as she throws light into darkness and weaves through nature; at once locating and connecting herself physically, if only for a short time, to the space of the forest. Finally, Davies, who often works alone, frames the space photographically and captures the end result of her mark making.
These altered landscapes operate on a number of levels. They are a reflection of Davies’ inner world, a meditation on universal themes relating to the psyche, and call into question the concept of landscape as a social and cultural construct.