When I first stepped onto the shores of Cardigan Bay, in Borth, Wales, I wasn’t certain of what I was going to find. I’d heard about the submerged forest but had no other information – I was on a rekkie for my Advanced Creative Project part one (ACP1), my next to last module in my degree. I had already virtually decided that it would be based around the ancient woodlands of Lawrenny. In fact that is exactly what ACP1 turned out to be; ‘Spirit of the Druid’ ~ Lawrenny
However, once I stood amongst the 5000 year old remains of the ‘seashore forest’, I just knew that I was in the right place for my final ACP2 work. I wondered amongst the tree remains, some just small stumps and some much larger; there was lots of silt covered peat where there were more roots buried below and lots of peat with just fragments of root appearing through the blackness. I felt in awe of their longevity; even though they had been felled or damaged beyond hope by the power of the elements, they had survived in some form; a wonder for us all to see. The following are some of my first attempts to capture that feeling on camera.
Because the weather is often unpredictable on the coast my first images were taken using strobes in low light due the tide coverage during the day. However, on my next visit the tides were different and I was able to experiment with water movement and alternative lighting, all the time looking to portray in my image, that strange, mystical feeling that I was experiencing when amongst these ancient roots and trees.
The following images do not in any way reflect my own visualisation, however I have included them here to show how the light creates such rich colours when falling on wet Oak and Pine.
Later in the day, as the light began to fade, the sky became more interesting and as I walked further along the shore, I became more a part of the forest and realised that there was much more to explore than I had first thought.
For those of you who are still with me on the shores of Cardigan Bay, I say a huge thank you and promise that when we finally get to the Lost Kingdom of Cantre’r Gwaelod, beyond the Submerged Forest on the shores of Ynyslas, you will be pleased you put up with my protracted journey – is it called ‘setting the scene’? I guess it is. And, as my exhibition doesn’t open until Friday, I don’t want to pre-empt the moment.
See you tomorrow, and thanks, again!