Royal Photographic Society
Contemporary Photography Genre - Successful Print Submission.
The immense strength of the ancient oak, the fragility of a new sapling. There is life here.
My ongoing project is to make photographs in and around a nearby ancient forest, where I have lived for almost all of my life and where my ancestors worked the land. A living wilderness for about the past fifteen thousand years, the earliest known name for it is Sciryuda, first documented at the time of the Danelaw over a thousand years ago. Sciryuda translates as 'the wood belonging to the shire' and is now known as Sherwood.
A primeval forest and once covering a very large area, Sciryuda for me is an ethereal wilderness, a place of extreme beauty, tranquility, presence, movement, light, shade, darkness and time. A sleeping giant, a ray of hope, gestures, battles, conversations, a murmur. The trees cover, shield, hide, veil, screen, yet they simultaneously do the opposite by opening up space and offering glimpses.
I am off of the beaten track and I arrive, listening and observing as my curiosity and imagination moves me back and forth across time. Inspiring and intensely spiritual, Sciryuda is never still; living, it moves and flows. Seeing, hearing, feeling, witnessing and connecting with this area of nature is both exhilarating and uplifting.
This wilderness needs protecting, there is little left. Contemplating the many myths, legends and the people who have ruled over, controlled, managed and looked after Sciryuda, my purpose is to depict this ancient forest and wilderness on one part of its journey to wherever it is going. These images have not been made to provide a documentary record, rather a reflection or indication of the deep heart of Sciryuda, it's fragility, its strength.
We must look after this ancient forest, Sciryuda.