It's hard to know why forests occupy such a profound place in the collective human psyche. Perhaps it's because forests are storehouses of biological diversity: they provide medicine, food and shelter for many creatures, including humans (more than enough reasons to save the world's forests). So no wonder forests are a recurring theme for artists like London photographer Ellie Davies, who conjures mystical images of sylvan glades wrapped in fog, or punctuated with mysterious, shimmering lights.
In this series titled "Stars," Davies achieves this by superimposing her own photography with images of star clusters taken by the Hubble Space Telescope -- a deliberate merging of the cosmic with the earthly.
Seen over at My Modern Met, Davies explains that
Forests are potent symbols in folklore, fairy tale 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. Against this backdrop, my work explores the ways in which identity is formed by the landscapes we live and grow up in.
Davies' view of forests is echoed by many traditional cultures, which view forests as being conscious. On the other hand, they are also full of hidden, unknown mysteries, and operate on a level that humans cannot yet fully understand, much like the subconscious.
Davies' images evoke age-old stories of fairies, will-o-wisps, ghosts and other apparitions, while potentially positing questions of an uneasy cosmogenesis -- looking at these images, one cannot help but ask, how did we get here, and where are we going?
The dreamlike character of Davies' photos are powerfully compelling, bringing us to another dimension where forest entities are clearly visible. While it's true that landscapes shape our identities, perhaps it's just as pertinent that how we perceive our places in return that give us form as well. More over at My Modern Met and Ellie Davies' website.