I am constantly drawn back to this place. There is something that I find inspires me and yesterday, although I went with no plan, my mind took the landscape as its prompt and as a result two new images have just been added to the elemental collection of environmental nudes on this site
I returned to the mountain bikers trail that I had discovered on my last visit to Black Cap. There’s always a chance of somebody turning up in this area to disturb the shoot. This makes me a little more nervous, I’ve never yet had to explain myself to anyone but there is always a first time and like my shoots, I have nothing rehearsed.
It pays to look around to see if somebody is following behind you, and that is what I was doing when I spotted this location. I was drawn to the somewhat desolate feel of the ground. It will not show as well in the image but to me there at that time it almost seemed cratered by war.
I set up the camera and as usual strode naked into the scene, sometimes striking poses, sometimes behaving naturally. Just before this point, I did not feel that I had anything particularly interesting so, aware that I had set a slow shutter speed, decided to stand as still as possibly, looking straight at the camera, but moving my arms up and down. The result you see here, a naked man with head slightly raised and arms dissolving into the environment, Reflecting the ethereal feel, I entitled it “To another place” implying perhaps something mystical.
And I did move on. I remembered a nearby location from my previous visit where people had been abusing this environment and its easy access from a nearby road by dumping all sorts of human manufactured debris that really belonged at a recycling centre. I was thinking about finding a way to dump myself amongst this mess but with some glass on the ground I thought better of it. Then in a bowl in the landscape I spotted a small lone and quite dead silver tree which stood out in a glade. I connected that tree to Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane, the notorious scene from the poster where Sebastiane was tied to a stake, naked, and his body peppered with arrows….
It turned out that the tree was in a small hollow. I would have preferred to have seen my feet in the image but the mess in the landscape in front of me was more important. It also turned out that this dead tree was leaning backwards, hence the recline in the pose, and my weight against it was making it lean more. It would have toppled with me on it had I stayed longer – with my legs crossed to feign being bound at the ankle and my hands held as if tied behind the trunk above my head it certainly was not comfortable. But I had this image out of it. The binding is not rope but elements of the landscape cloned into place.
In titling the image “Bound, lost, abandoned” , I wanted to highlight that this unfortunate soul, now a small element of what was dumped into this landscape, is not lying on the bank but is joined to that silver tree never to escape…