Yesterday, I visited the land where the forest once stood that I spent much of the first year of my PhD photographing.  I used my iPhone to capture some record shots of how the landscape has changed in such a short space of time.  I return again and the foreboding skies reflect my mood as I follow what was the path through the forest – now resembling a road rather than a narrow track.

Fracture 12 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 13 – Alison Price, January 2021

Fracture 14 – Alison Price, January 2022

I wonder why a small number of trees have been spared – maybe it is because they are indigenous like the silver birch, perhaps the trees were inaccessible to the machinery or even that someone had spared a small stand of trees by the loch for the future or to remind us of what we have lost?

Fracture 15 – Alison Price, January 2022

Fracture 16 – Alison Price, January 2022

It is not just the devastation of a beautiful landscape that is lost, it is the relationships between the land and people, the trees and other species of animals and plants and the inter-relations between the trees themselves.  It is the interdependence between various parts of a complex ecosystem.  This is not just a loss of trees but the lingering impact on the environment.  Of course, the trees were never intended to be here forever, not even for a lifetime longer than a human life span, but until they were mature enough to deliver the investment made in planting them in the first place – a cash crop.

I am using my iPhone again today.  I am not yet ready to start thinking about how I can sympathetically record the scene, one of devastation and loss where the bodies remain at the scene.

Fracture 17 – Alison Price, January 2022

I want to produce images that are aesthetically beautiful but how does this sit with what has happened?  How do I photograph something that is no longer here- absence rather than presence?  But, this is an opportunity to record the inevitable changes and contingencies in the landscape, to reflect on my feelings and thoughts and produce a collection of images that pay homage to the lives lost.

Alison Price

Alison Price

My name is Alison Price and for the past ten years I have travelled the world photographing wildlife, including Alaska, Antarctica, Borneo, Botswana, the Canadian Arctic, Kenya, Rwanda, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
Skip to content