“But I’ll tell you what hermits realise. If you go off into a far, far forest and get very quiet, you’ll come to understand that you’re connected to everything.” - Alan Watts
Life in the city is fast paced, loud and relentless, and I have been immersed in this life for the past three years. A quiet upbringing in a small coastal town makes this city environment alien to me, and I often find myself day dreaming of being enveloped back into the ocean and forests of my home, where I can believe I am the only person on the earth. My series depicts these day dreams brought to life through handcrafted cyanotypes. “Into the Earth” is a series about my connection to the earth, and the peaceful feelings of solitude that I cherish so much when in these natural environments.
Feelings of solitude when alone in nature are not new – countless people have experienced this for eons. For this reason, I have strived to give my images a look that shows they could have been unearthed from over 100 years ago, and which blurs the line between photograph and painting. I have set out to portray this through having a slightly anonymous feel to my subjects so that you could not be exactly sure which era they came from, and I have also tried to maintain the anonymity by utilising the intimate handcrafted process of cyanotypes; by tea toning and tearing the edges I hope to send the images back in time.
“Into the Earth” almost feels like a series of self portraits to me, given the personal nature of the images and how they reflect who I am as a person. I chose to feature young women in my images, as I believed that the feelings that can be evoked by such simple beauty would greatly contribute to my desire for a peaceful, ethereal image. When I am walking in the forest or the beach, the rest of the word melts away and it’s just me and my thoughts. In the city I am suffocated and caged, in nature and the ocean I am uninhibited and I am released. I am a tiny part of this huge world, but when I am alone in such raw places, I can feel such a part of it. This is when I am alive, when I can lose myself in these isolated environments, and I have tried to reflect this feeling by having only small figures in my images. “Into the Earth” depicts my deep connection to the earth, and how this rules my life.