ALL IMAGES AND TEXT COPYRIGHT MAGA ESBERG 2014
In 2013 whilst teaching Photography to art students in Oxford I started making work at Wytham Woods, a woodland used by the University of Oxford for scientific and environmental research and conservation. In this atelier 'en plein air,' I worked with basic optical devices and light-sensitive materials to try to substantiate the space into experiences that could be made visible and shared.
The pinhole images chart the course of the woods around the sun: each line, broken or unbroken, represents a day. Sometimes a tree appears like a ghost in a cloud of green smoke; other times the sun alone repeatedly crosses the horizon. The lumens were made by leaving sheets of photosensitive paper for several days on the ground of the woods.
The long exposures have abstracted the woods and the changing weather (wind, rain, and sun) reacted with the photographic emulsions creating unique and unrepeatable images. In this series, there are no dates, durations or recognizable landmarks to contrast with the empirical and anthropocentric approach of the scientific community. The deliberate imperfections humanize the work.
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