Into The Woods
Gardens Illustrated|November 2017

Forests are mystical places – the stuff of fairy tales and folklore. Part fantasy, part reality, Ellie Davies’ enchanting installations and subsequent photographs capture their essence

Rosanna Morris

Wisps of smoke drift through the branches of an old oak tree. A path of bracken snakes across a forest floor. A silver birch coated with gold shimmers in a gloomy clearing. Glittery starlight brightens the silhouettes of young pine trees in a dense thicket. “The stars are those taken by the Hubble Space Telescope,” says fine art photographer Ellie Davies of her images taken of forests, which feature unexpected installations. “I superimposed the stars on to the image of the pine. It’s meant to juxtapose the forest with the intangible and unknown universe; its physicality and tactility set against a profound and fundamental otherness. The smoke is real, though.”

Ellie has been photographing forests for the past eight years. But rather than capture a simple composition, she brings into the frame what she calls ‘interventions’ – smoke or a painted path – to surprise and intrigue viewers, and make them see forests differently.

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