British Journal of Photography

1 July 2016

Into the Woods by Tom Seymour.

Into the Woods, a new exhibition by young British photographer Ellie Davies, show photographs created over the past seven years in the forests of the UK, exploring the complex interrelationships between the landscape and the individual.

Using handmade sculptural elements, Davies uses the natural landscape to explore her own personal narrative.

In her latest series of work Half Life, Davies adds water as a new element  – a dark, still river, bordered by colourful, textured riverbanks rich with vegetation.

The water dissects each image, creating a false horizon, separating the viewer from the twilight forest beyond, allowing the land to be considered from a distance.

The forest is Davies’s studio. Working alone, she responds to, and alters, the landscape with a series of temporary interventions, creating pools of light on the forest floor, or using craft materials such as paint and wool to help make and build natural scenes.

A golden tree is introduced into a thicket to shimmer in the darkness, painted paths snake through the undergrowth, and strands of wool are woven between trees.

“Growing up in the New Forest in the south of England, I spent my childhood exploring and playing in the woods with my twin sister.

“In Half Light, I consider my relationship with these places, my ongoing attempt to reconnect with the wilder landscapes of my youth and to discover if those remembered and imagined places can be found and captured again,” Davies said.

In addition to Half Light, the exhibition will include previous bodies of work in Davies’s woodland series’ including Stars, Between The Trees, Islands, Come With Me and The Gloaming.

”Over thousands of years, Brtain’s forests have been shaped by human processes and represent the confluence of nature and culture, of natural landscape and human activity.

“Forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairy tale and myth, places of enchantment and magic as well as of danger and mystery. In recent cultural history they have come to be associated with psychological states relating to the unconscious,” Crane Kalman gallery said of Davies’ work in a statement.

Ellie Davies was born in 1976 in London and graduated from the MA Photographic Degree Course at the London College of Communication in 2008.

Throughout her career, she has been shortlisted the Aesthetica Art Prize 2016 and is the recipient of numerous awards including Kontinent Award (2014), Art Gemini (2014), the Professional Women Photographers International Juried Exhibition (2012), Lens Culture International Exposure Awards (2011) and the PX3 Paris Prix de la Photographie Paris Awards (2010).

Her work has been included at The Arles Photo Festival in France and is held in private collections in the UK, the US, Central and Eastern Europe, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia and The United Arab Emirates.


Her work has been published in several books, including WUD: Four Fictional Walks in the Woods, a limited edition hardcover photobook published by Tangerine Press, and Behind the Image By Natasha Caruana and Anna Fox published in 2012.

Into the Woods is Crane Kalman Brighton’s first ever exhibition at its internationally renowned sister gallery, Crane Kalman, in London

Ellie Davies: Into the Woods is exhibited from 21 July to 20 August 2016 at Crane Kalman, 178 Brompton Rd, London SW3 1HQ. For more information, visit