One of our earliest concepts was the belief that everything on earth contains a distinct spiritual Essence, wether it be a human, animal tree, rock or river.
This belief is referred to as 'animism', and is said to be the most common belief held amongst indigenous people.
Metaphysical, Animistic and Folkloric subjects have been expressed largely through Stories, Poetry and Paintings, yet exploring these subjects through real-life Photography is a scarcely touched art form.
Dryad Vision is a photography project which highlights the fluid mysticism and fantastical intelligence of Nature. The word Dryad originates from Greek mythology, meaning tree spirit or Nymph, however is now a word in which tree spirits are generally referred to as.
Nature is mystically intelligent and divinely beautiful; a Queendom containing other Realms and Beings, which humankind cannot quite comprehend.
Our 'close to earth' ancestors knew this and worked with it, yet we seem to have become estranged - we are choking nature! - maybe in a fearful attempt to control it?
I feel that as a society we have become dogmatic, in the sense that we scarcely accept mysticism. We are far too distracted to be able to 'tune' into other realms, let alone accept the notion of a multi - dimensional earth.
Most Paganesque beliefs in the west were wiped out by the early middle ages, and since then - colonial attitudes have treated Nature terribly, abusing its abundance of goods to build Money-making infrastructures, greedily capitalising from it.
These ideals are also at the root of our institutions, hence why such Spiritual subjects are often avoided. It's Taboo.
It is impossible to see Nature in all its glory, if you are blindly benefiting from the Industrial monster which is ripping Nature apart.
The more we tread on concrete, the less connected to Natures truth we become.
I for one have never understood why humans love to worship manmade statues, ignoring the elemental Gods and Goddess's which are physically living amongst us, who literally gift us life by allowing us to breath - trees!
Tree beings are cut down, allowing us to create books which spread our anthropocentric wisdom, whilst the divine wisdom that the tree can offer us is completely disregarded - trees are in fact our teachers!
Through connecting and photographing nature in this intimate way, I hope to reawaken curiosity and wonderment towards nature, resulting in more gratitude and respect for it.
Dryad Vision is here to showcase the Mystical Beings which reside on Mother Earth, reminding us that real Magic is just around the corner.
I began Dryad Vision in the Spring of 2020, just as the Pandemic hit.
As one Virus forced all of us to stop our everyday existence, i was reminded of Natures true power and dominance.
Living as a Violinist in moneyland London, i had reached a point where I felt totally disconnected from any sort of core truth, and I felt like my relationship with the earth and with my animal self had been totally abandoned; It was never a priority; performers often strive to be superhumans, rather than just humans.
It then occurred to me that most of us (especially in the west) are totally disconnected from what it truly means to be a human animal.
We walk on concrete streets, we buy our meat pre-killed, skinned and gutted. We travel huge distances ungratefully and irresponsibly, and to top it all off we are glued to technology. The list goes on!
As a collective, we have become totally alienated from our ancestors, and have altogether discredited ancient wisdom and Spiritual practices, partly due to our scientific evidence based way of labelling absolutely everything, with words.
I’m not saying I don’t like science, I’m saying that I think its rather foolish + arrogant to think that humans can and should be able to understand and explain everything.
We are smart, but not that smart!
So, desperate to find something ineffably truthful, I set out into the night and started photographing the trees, eyes shut, in the dark.
At first, this unique experience scared me. Upon studying the photographs, i struggled to allow myself to really believe in what I was seeing, ‘its just Pareidolia’.
Yet, I knew deep down it wasn’t Pareidolia. There is a difference between seeing a pattern vs seeing a life-form / being, and that difference is a guttural feeling.
And so I trusted what little bit of my childlike intuition was left, and continued.
The more I studied Nature, the more i saw - and i gradually experience a ‘Shift’ in my Vision.
A few months on, Trees which used to look very solid and stiff now seemed soft - and always in flux, full of bright colours and mysteriously beautiful shapes, figures and faces.
I started to notice that Trees have different characters and energies, (sometimes many contrasting all in the same Tree) just like Humans and Personality traits.
Some Trees enjoy our attention, and will lovingly connect and inspire, yet others prefer to be left alone.
If i became disconnected or distracted, i lost my ability to see - discovering that obtaining and retaining this sort of connection to nature requires constant spiritual work.