16th Annual Smithsonian Magazine Photo Contest
Fires 9, 2018
Fire, not only a common thread that unites humanity but a universal continuity linking modern man to the earliest inhabitants of Britain's woods and forests.
With deeply symbolic narratives spanning the human and natural world, it brings together the opposing themes of life and death, creation and destruction, love and loss, nature versus culture, and numerous other mythologies and meanings that we ascribe to it.
The small fires present in these images cast the forest in a warm light, holding back the dark, bringing a sense of safety and comfort not only transforming the forest but temporarily altering it. A man-made fire however must be built and lit, tended and fed. Its mere presence implies the existence of people, and the human narrative remains despite their absence. The viewer is left to weave their own experience into the woodland, invited to enter, to sit down, to be silent and still; to become a part of the wood and for a time to find a place within it.
© Ellie Davies.
All rights reserved.
||Nov. 2, 2018, 10:25 a.m.
RICOH IMAGING COMPANY, LTD.