on landscape The online magazine for landscape photographers

The Dark Wood Remembered

Magical places of imagination and transformation

Michéla Griffith

In 2012 I paused by my local river and everything changed. I’ve moved away from what many expect photographs to be: my images deconstruct the literal and reimagine the subjective, reflecting the curiosity that water has inspired in my practice. Water has been my conduit: it has sharpened my vision, given me permission to experiment and continues to introduce me to new ways of seeing.


After a night of snow, I was in two minds about where to go. I liked the idea of heading up to the wood to see if it had penetrated the dark plantation, but I couldn’t be sure if it would be worthwhile. The obvious choice was to head for the hills, but in the end I figured that I already had a fair few images of these under even deeper snow and wanted something more than another vista, so the wood won. Aside from the unparalleled enjoyment of spending time with trees, which feels like renewing an acquaintance with an old friend, it would give me the opportunity of looking out and upwards and a respite for my body in not working at ground level.

Powdered and Painted

Climbing up the hill, the eastern face of the wood was primped, powdered and painted. I’d watched from the window the night before as sticky snow built up on the lines between the houses. Here it had adhered to every surface and every side, in contrast to the usual one dimensional skin shed by the prevailing wind. I feared it would soon melt, so explored the perimeter before venturing in, but the dry snow and the cold morning made the snow late for its inevitable appointment with the ground.

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