‘What is under way, across a broad spectrum of culture, is an attempt to account for the turbulence of England in the era of late capitalism. The supernatural and paranormal have always been means of figuring powers that cannot otherwise find visible expression.’ (Mcfarlane, 2015)
The modern world is a difficult place to be: politics, consumerism and impetus on the surface can be wearing. Sometimes what we need is an escape into nature and from reality. ‘On the land an oak will grow’ offers that escape. Effigies, deities, and creatures that live in the woods: these are all part of the mysterious dual worlds that Henry Woide and Vanessa Fairfax-Woods have created in the series ‘On the land an oak will grow.’
Inspired by ancient English folklore, the pair set about creating their own modern myths and legends. The work spans over imaginary time lines in imaginary worlds, shining light on the narratives that we choose for ourselves. The response and continuing narrative of modern day rituals brings a strong response when surreal elements of the digital come into traditional folklore and fairytale taking the viewer on a journey into the surreal.
This has been approached with a sense of humour and ethereal beauty, enticing with the viewer to look closer. Even though an eeriness pervades throughout the series, there is the allure (perhaps of a siren) inviting you to step inside and explore these unknown territories - inviting you to shed these modern day shackles and enter a world with different powers at play. The worlds created are fluid; free from time, age and a linear narrative.
A photographic collaboration by Henry Woide and Vanessa Fairfax-Woods. Follow us at @woidexfairfax.Winner of the Lifeframer Edition VII Series Award and Sony Photography Awards 2022 Shortlist to be exhibited by the Contour Gallery In Rotterdam, Netherlands from the 1st-29th of April.