This work explores the complex interrelationship between landscape and beauty, and the notion that our understanding of landscape is constructed. In doing so it subverts the notion of beauty as truth, and references wider issues of authenticity within photography.
The intention is to request a more personal response to the landscape, an experience embedded in memory, history, storytelling, folk law and magic, to engage the viewer in a dialogue with the image and in a sense of the familiar, drawing on an awareness of how our perceptions of the natural world are shaped.
Ongoing debates surrounding landscape examine the consequences of conceiving of landscape as beautiful. These constructions obscure the reality of the land, veiling it, transforming the natural world into an idealization. The trees in the Smoke and Mirrors Heathland series allude to this construction, whilst also evoking a sense of the fairytale. These fantasy trees reference these fictions which persist in spite of any conscious knowledge about the material, social or political status of landscapes, to create ‘rural myth’ and romanticism, obscuring an understanding of the land as threatened and exploited, dangerous and unknown.