The Dream of the Wood is a seasonal narrative of a fictional deciduous woodland in south-east England.
In this photograph, I want to celebrate woodlands and the flora they support as a part of our cultural history, home to national icons such as the English Bluebell; and English Oak and Wild Service tree. I hope to give the viewer a physiological experience of the space where there is no one focal point, where the eyes move freely across the piece.
The title of the piece is a play on words connected to an Old English poem ‘The Dream of the Rood,’ which is thought to straggle the cultural boundary between animist Anglo-Saxon beliefs and the introduction of Christianity into Britain. This famous poem is about the tree cut down to create Jesus’ Crucifix, but told from the perspective of the tree.
NB: Each species photographed was sourced legally and ethically – either bought from trusted suppliers or taken from my garden. The butterfly photographed, Heath Fritillary (Melitaea athalia) or ‘Woodman’s Follower’ is one of the rarest butterflies in the UK and a high priority conservation species. Unfortunately, I found the butterfly dead on a woodland floor, but this gave me the opportunity to bring it home to photograph for this woodland narrative.
Species photographed from left to right:
Prunus spinosa, Corylus avellana, Betula pendula, Hedera helix, Ulmus procera, Dendrocopos major, Buteo buteo, Primula vulgaris, Crataegus monogyna, Bombus Hortorum, Stellaria holostea, Anemone nemorosa, Allium ursinum, Quercus robur, Pica pica, Hyacinthoides non-scripta, Streptopelia turtur, Rosa canina, Clematis vitalba, Silene dioica, Carpinus betulus, Anthriscus sylvestris, Sorbus torminalis, Melitaea athalia, Teucrium scorodonia, Castanea sativa, Lonicera periclymenum, Laccaria amethystina, Hypholoma fasciculare, Tricholoma sulphureum, Ilex aquifolium, Rubus fruticosus, Helleborus foetidus, Garrulus glandarius, Iris foetidissima.
Scale of image: 31.4 x 11.1 inches