The Silent Land documents a Forestry Commission plantation managed for timber and recreational use, which grows on the remains of ancient lead works on the Mendip Hills where in 2016 a local man chose to end his life. Against the backdrop of seasonal change and the cycles that are observed over several years, the work explores the elegiac potential of the land and the memorialising act of photography.
The Silent Land attempts to invite questions around the paradox of outdoor, ‘natural’ spaces – how these provide well documented benefits for health and wellbeing, but are often infused with pathos and melancholy, and are frequently the destination of choice for those seeking to end their lives.
‘The Silent Land examines the life-affirming properties of forests, the way in which they interact with our psychological and physical defences… but it also looks at the darker sides of the woods and the melancholy that is at their heart.’
The Silent Land is a serene and moving series of images exploring concepts of death, male suicide and nature. The book design was created to give this complex subject breathing space and power.
The cover is a Fedgrigoni stock in which cellulose fibres are embedded into the pulp. The printing stock is pure white paper capable of printing deep blacks and vibrant colours, especially needed as greens and oranges, the main colours in nature, print weakly in CMYK.
Considerations were given to the environmental impact of the book, and the findings of this have been published in a Sustainable Photobook Publishing case study