August 2015



The following version of the Interview is transcribed using Google Translate:

RIO – In a video posted on “Lens Culture” site, the photographer Ellie Davies talks about what it’s like in the forest, “The sound is different, the air is different, you have a sense of calm. The tranquility is universal. ” “Tranquility” is one of the characteristics that could describe the series “Stars” and “Among trees,” created between 2014 and 2015. But Ellie’s photos do not show an untouched nature. The hand of the photographer is always there.

– My process temporarily changes the spaces, but do not see how a control levy. It’s a way to interact with the space, not overwhelm you or master it – says Ellie.

The photographer, who now lives in London, grew up in southern England. As a child, attending the New Forest National Park, where he played with her twin sister, riding his bike, made dams on lakes and picking mushrooms. Seven years ago, she decided to return to childhood setting and make the forest their studio. The combination between what is natural and what was introduced by man has become the main theme of Ellie, and the forest went on to serve as a backdrop for their interventions.

In the “Stars” series, the English digitally superimposed images from the Hubble telescope pictures he took in two forests: New Forest in Hampshire, and Puddletown Forest in Dorset. By joining the woods with galaxies, meets in two layers familiar and unfamiliar elements – are combinations ranging from the scary and stunning.

In “Among trees,” it does not go as far, geographically speaking: the idea is to draw attention to the “middle” of the forest, at eye level, or in the crowns or roots. To highlight this space, Ellie issues in setting an artificial smoke. Interventions are temporary, have no impact, do not produce waste, nor are aggressive, such as graphite.

The changes in the landscape, made directly or later on your computer, juxtaposing the original image with the NASA stamp the presence of Ellie. These actions are thinking about the role that man plays in the forest, whether by reverence, respect or fear. The photographer, who has exhibited in galleries in Holland, France and England, believes that this coexistence “induced” between nature and culture give your work an atmosphere “between reality and fantasy.”

– “Among Trees” and “Stars” are linked by the same subject. Both works explore our cultural understanding of the forest by introducing foreign elements and unexpected that space to suggest the idea of discovery and surprise. They ask the viewer to reflect on how we think in the forest and landscape, concepts involving layers of meaning, history and cliché – explains Ellie, who, besides these two series, produced since 2009 another 11 sets of photos, all in the woods, each one marked by a specific type of intervention. – On a personal level, it is the result of my process of reconnect with the forests of my childhood.

In the poem “Renaissance”, the book “Among Trees” (publisher Bem-te-vi), coincidentally namesake to the photographer series, the Rio poet Sylvio Fraga Neto points out that man’s relationship to the forest: “Forest is a great / procession trees / wood pomegranates seedlings / which are the very church / then depart: in flower, fruit / After the uproar, saw / yesterday’s paper on the table / heralding breeze. ”

* Alice Sant’Anna writes in Transcultura page, published on Friday in the Second Notebook.