A Forest of Stars

Photographer Ellie Davies is Creating New Ways to Experience Landscapes

As an admirer of the complexity and mystery imbued in forests, photographer, Ellie Davies uses The New Forest, an ancient woodland in the south of England, as the setting for her visual explorations and experimentations.

She describes her fascinating projects as landscape photography, into which she makes interventions and creates new objects and spaces.

Her series Stars, like all of her installations, only exists in the forest for a single day before she wipes away all traces of it. It aims to explore Ellie’s desire to find balance between the relationship with the wild places of her youth, and a pervasive sense of disconnectedness with the natural world.

We caught up with Ellie to hear more:

The Plus: Why do your installations only exist for one day?
Ellie Davies:
I aim to create as little impact as possible on the forest, so it is important to remove my work afterwards. I work alone so generally people don’t get to see my work in the forest, but its purpose it ultimately to create a photograph. This is the final piece and the interventions I make are part of the process.

TP: What do you find intriguing about forests?
I love working in the forests because they are imbued with all sorts of meanings, which come to us through history, mythology, stories and tales. They are a metaphor for the unconscious mind. I use the forest as a backdrop or studio space in order to create images which I hope are ambiguous enough to allow the viewer to make their own interpretation of the work, whilst having a narrative within them.


TP: What do these installations mean to you?
I use my work to explore my relationship with the natural world, how it is layered with cultural meaning and myth-making that masks, obscures or overlays my experience of the forest. I try to find my own way to exist in the landscape but gaining a more personal level of interaction, inscribing something of myself temporarily within these forest spaces.

In another stunning forest installation Ellie’s previous series, Between the Trees, presents cloud-like fog as it mingles with with nature.
Go to her website to see more.