ALL IMAGES AND TEXT COPYRIGHT MAGA ESBERG 2014

 

 

 MAGA ESBERG

WOODS

I have been researching Wytham woods in Oxfordshire, a woodland owned by the University of Oxford. The woods which are used for scientific and environmental research, timber production, and leisure activities are home to a flora and fauna typical of the south-east of England. They have been exploited commercially for centuries and are now enclosed for conservation purposes. Since 2014 I have built working relationships with its management, the site’s scientific and artist communities and I have developed WOODS, a series of visual arts projects.

 

My practice is based on observation and explores the connectedness between living beings and things within an aesthetic and poetic approach. I use photography and video to document traces, marks and narratives that I interpret into metaphorical images or experiences that make the invisible visible, and re-frame perception. Walking is key to my work; in Wytham my body becomes a measuring tool and in return, my physical and mental boundaries frame my creativity.

 

https://www.wythamwoods.ox.ac.uk/article/maga-esberg#/

 

 

WOODS/ STAR

 

This series was developed in response to the proliferation of technology, to Dominique Stroobant’s heliography work and Susan Derges’s ‘Chladni’ series.

I left light-sensitive paper in the woods and over months-long exposures, the rain, the wind, and temperature changes produced abstract, and unrepeatable images. The pinhole images depict the course of the woods around the sun; sometimes a tree appears like a ghost in a cloud of green smoke; at other times the sun alone repeatedly crosses the horizon and curves: each line, broken or unbroken, representing a day.

 

I deliberately omitted dates, durations, and landmarks to highlight the timelessness of the work and I included the imperfections of the process to humanise  it. The lumens were attached directly to trees, branches, and grasses.

A short video of the book is available opposite.

 

 

 

WOODS/ FALLING

 

This series looks at the effects of the wind, of time and gravity on the woods. The series of photographs contrasts majestic trees with subtle and intriguing marks; branches caught in flight which temporary escape from gravity; random, graceful and gratuitous, recalls Simone Weil’s musings on ‘Metaxu: Every separation is a link’. In contrast images of fallen veteran trees left to decompose on the ground show humans are rethinking their relationship to nature. Some parts of the woods, now left unmanaged are said to resemble closely woods from the last ice age.

 

A short video of the book is available opposite.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WOODS/ THE MEASURE OF THE WORLD

 

The work captures changes in the landscape but its focus is the wind. I have been fascinated this abstract, flowing and intangible material since my childhood. What is the wind? What are its form and strength? Does it shape the world or vice versa?

In this piece, the wind is prosaically yet aesthetically made visible by trees, branches, grass and clouds. It is however through rare moments of absence and of stillness that the wind truly reveals itself and makes us long for it to blow again.

 

This piece is a video installation comprising a three-screen, colour, video projection showing one to three minute long clips, at random on a loop.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Double click to insert body text here ...

Screenshot 2021-07-11 at 10.30.25