Creative Boom

7 July 2015

Artist spends nearly a decade transforming forests into beautiful works of art by Katy Cowan.

When it comes to pure dedication and an almost obsessive commitment to her craft, Ellie Davies has it more than covered. A multimedia artist, she has spent the past seven years turning forests and wooded areas throughout the UK into stunning works of art. Exploring our relationship with nature and how we’ve shaped it over the centuries, Davies makes a number of temporary and non-invasive interventions to our forests to create a little fantasy within the reality.

She explains: “UK forests have been shaped by human processes over thousands of years and include ancient woodlands, timber forestry, wildlife reserves and protected Areas of Outstanding Natural. As such, the forest represents the confluence of nature, culture, and human activity. Forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairytale and myth, places of enchantment and magic as well as of danger and mystery. In more recent history they have come to be associated with psychological states relating to the unconscious.”

Davies makes and builds various props, creates pools of light, suspends artificial smoke within the trees, or even uses craft materials such as paint and pigment to get the look she’s after.

She added: “The final images are the culmination of these interventions. The forest becomes a studio, forming a backdrop to contextualise the work, so that each piece draws on its location, a golden tree introduced into a thicket shimmers in the darkness, painted paths snake through the undergrowth, and strands of wool are woven between trees mirroring colours and formal elements within the space.

“These altered landscapes operate on a number of levels. They are a reflection of my personal relationship with the forest, a meditation on universal themes relating to the psyche and call into question the concept of landscape as a social and cultural construct. Most importantly they draw the viewer into the forest space, asking the them to consider how their own identity is shaped by the landscapes they live in.”