Photo: Ellie Davies in London

Ellie Davies

Artist

I have been working in UK forests for the past seven years, making work which explores the complex interrelationship between the landscape and the individual.  Our understanding of landscape can be seen as a construction in which layers of meaning that reflect our own cultural preoccupations and anxieties obscure the reality of the land, veiling it, and transforming the natural world into an idealization.

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 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.

Against this cultural backdrop my work explores the fabricated nature of landscape by making a variety of temporary and non-invasive interventions in the forest, which place the viewer in the gap between reality and fantasy.  Creating this space encourages the viewer to re-evaluate the way in which their relationship with the landscape is formed, and the extent to which it is a product of cultural heritage or personal experience.

Throughout my practice small acts of engagement respond to the landscape using a variety of strategies, such as making and building, creating pools of light on the forest floor, or using craft materials such as paint and wool. The final images are the culmination of these interventions. The forest becomes a studio, forming a backdrop to contextualize 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.

BIOGRAPHY

Ellie Davies (Born 1976) lives in London and works in the woods and forests of the UK.  She gained her MA in Photography from London College of Communication in 2008.

Current exhibitions:

A-Galerie Paris is showing her work in Outside, a group show which runs from 29 January 2015 until 21 March.  The show will then travel to Art Paris, and later in the year to A.Galerie Brussels.

Stars, a solo exhibition at The Sophie Maree Gallery in The Hague runs from 10 January until 28 February 2015.

Recent solo exhibitions include Into the Woods at The Richard Young Gallery in London, Come with Me at The Print House Gallery in London, Smoke and Mirrors at 10GS London, and Ellie Davies New Landscape at Bruce Collections, Kiev in Ukraine. 

She is represented by A.Galerie ParisSophie Maree Gallery in The Netherlands, Brucie Collections in Kiev and Art Gemini in Singapore.  Crane Kalman Brighton Gallery exhibit her work at London Art Fairs. 

Group exhibitions in 2014 include The Art Gemini Prize Exhibition at TriSpace Gallery in London, Uncertain States at Four Corners Gallery in London, and The Open West 2014at The Wilson Gallery in Cheltenham.  Forest Stories Touring Exhibition travelled to The Russian Museum Summer Gardens in St. Petersburg, to Krasnodar Central Park, Krasnodar, Russia, and to Illinskii Forest Museum, Perm, Russia.  Other exhibitions include Inside Out at PH21 Gallery in Budapest, 100 Trees at Onca Gallery, Brighton, The Arles 2013 Photo Festival in France and at China House in Malaysia.  Also, The Noorderlicht 2013 Photofestival in The Netherlands, and the 2012 Singapore International Photo Festival.  In late 2012 the Open to Interpretation: Intimate Landscape Exhibition toured the USA including Gordon Parks Gallery, St Paul, Minneapolis, and Newspace Centre for Photography, Portland, Oregon.

Davies was recently awarded First Place in the 2014 Kontinent Awards in the Fine Art Projects Category, First Place in the 2014 Art Gemini Awards, and two Honourable Mentions in the Moscow International Photography Awards 2014.   She also received an Honourable Mention from the jurors of Inside Out 2014 at PH21 Gallery in Budapest, and was selected as a finalist in the 2013 London International Creative Competition.  She was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Professional Women Photographers International Juried Exhibition 2012.  Davies was selected for the Lens Culture International Exposure Awards 2010, and received 1st Place in the Fine Art Landscape category of the 2010 PX3 Paris Photo Prize, The Exeter Phoenix 2010 Audience Choice Award, ArtSlant Showcase Juried Winner in 2010 and 2011, and Commended in the LPA Landscape Awards 2010. 

She has recently been interviewed for Cercle Magazine France, F-Stop, Mull It Over, Urbanautica Photo Stories, Two Way Lens, Fraction Magazine, and It’s Nice That.  She has been featured in Interior Design USA, Blow Magazine, Dodho Magazine, Doc! Magazine, Fraction Magazine’s 50th Issue, Fuzion Magazine, Photo+ Magazine South Korea, Conscientious, Silvershotz, Lens Culture, Art Ukraine, Entitle Magazine, Le Monde Magazine , and The London Independent Photography Selected Artist Showcase.  Recent books include WUD: Four Walks in the Fictional Woods, a limited-edition hardcover Photobook published by Tangerine Press in December 2012.  Also, Open To Interpretation: Intimate Landscapes – Published October 2012, and Behind the Image By Natasha Caruana and Anna Fox published by Thames and Hudson in 2012.  

Her work is held in private collections in the UK, the US, Central and Eastern Europe, South Korea, Hong Kong, Russia and The United Arab Emirates.  WUD: Four Fictional Walks in the Woods has been added to the collections of the National Art Library at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, The Library Project Bookshop, Dublin, The Glasgow School of Art Library, and is stocked in Foyles London.

 

 

 

 

 

read full statement

Location London
Artforms / type of project Photography
Tags Landscape, fine art, photography, conceptual, Artist, photographer, forest, woods, uk, gallery
Website http://www.elliedavies.co.uk

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