Ellie Davies’ photography brings out the beauty of the forest
UK-based land-artist Ellie Davies constructed pathways through the New Forest in New South England for her 2011 series “Come With Me”. Built from wool, powder, paint, wood or dirt, the pathways create a natural curvature around trees and bushes, incorporating the labour itself as a central concept to her work process. With the title of the piece, Davies invites you to follow her through the scenery.
Referring to the “constructed” nature of landscape, she introduces artificial materials into the woodland as a reference to the long tradition of landscape painting and “its role in the creation of meaning and myth”, she says.
The installations are each created with an intuitive spontaneity, Davies carefully cleans up all the materials after the trails are documented. Her work is therefore non-invasive and temporary. Each piece follows the most natural line of movement through the space, tracing animal paths or the given curve of the land.
Transforming the natural world into an object as well as a photographic image, she questions the stability of ‘nature’ and landscape’ as concepts and asks the viewer to consider how their own identity is shaped by the landscapes they live in, and the ways in which they utilize these spaces.
Davie has been working in the UK Forests for the past nine years, making work which explores the connected and complex relationship between a landscape and the individual.
“Come with me” is set in New South England, very close to where he used to live and play as a kid. She says that UK forests have been shaped by human processes over thousands of years however including ancient woodlands, timber and wildlife reserves, as well as protected areas of outstanding nature.