British photographer Ellie Davies’s latest series of work, Half Light (2015), will be on show at Crane Kalman Gallery this summer. Winner of the People’s Choice in the Aesthetica Art Prize 2016, the practitioner responds to, and alters, elements of the natural landscape. Opening on 21 July, Into the Woods collates work from throughout Davies’s career and highlights her endeavour to capture and transform imagery from ancient and mature forests, and ultimately, examine the complex interrelationsips between the land and the individual.
Utilising the forest as her studio, Davies works alone to create and document temporary interventions. In Half Light, the photographer adds the element of water to her scenes; trading dense thickets of trees for dark, still rivers, framed by vibrant clusters of vegetation. In contrast to her Stars (2013-14) series, which was shortlisted in the Art Prize and incorporated celestial scenes captured by the Hubble Telescope, Davies opts for more sombre and uncanny imagery. The murky water in Half Light dissects each picture, creating a false horizon and separating the viewer from the twilight forest beyond.
Accompanying projects such as Between the Trees, Smoke & Mirrors, Come with Me and The Gloaming, all unite in this upcoming exhibition to emphasise the artist’s interest in reconnecting with the wilder places of her youth; much of which was spent wandering through the New Forest in the south of England. Many UK forests have been shaped by human processes and represent the confluence of nature and culture, of natural landscape and human activity.
In her work, Davies draws on forests’ age-old connections with folklore, fairy tale and myth, as well as its more recent associations with the unconscious. The photographer utilises the fabricated nature of the landscape to create a hinterland between reality and fantasy, and encourages the viewer to re-evaluate the ways in which their relationship with the landscape is formed; questioning to what extent this is a product of cultural heritage or personal experience.
Ellie Davies, Into the Woods, 21 July-20 August, Crane Kalman Gallery, London.
For more, visit www.cranekalman.com.
See additional images at www.elliedavies.co.uk.
1. Ellie Davies, Half Light 5, 2016. Courtesy of the artist.