Solitude to Birdsong
Solitude to Birdsong travels along fields, footpaths, rivers and through forest around the North York Moors National Park. These visual notes of the natural world explore a sense of personal loss, reflection, and solitude. They pay attention to the natural worlds rhythmical interplay with our yearly cycle and reflect the seasonal feelings of the heart.
‘I have walked these paths many times,
But I had walked with eyes closed.
Seeing; but not observing the beauty,
of things around me.
And, in that beauty I was able to feel,
the small pleasures
that would have been otherwise lost to me.’
Shot over several years, I was on a daily search to see something new. Initially, I was drawn to the minute daily details of the elements I came across. A decaying leaf, a tear shaped droplet, the hue of a felled log, fallen leaves, frozen water. Textural patterns and singular colours. We never travel silently, and these were symbolic of the many quiet, focused solitary conversation that accompanied my journeys.
As time passed and loss turned to gratitude. My gaze raised, and I could see the beautiful isolation of things. A sole tree in the morning dawn, singular structures and distant horizons. I was making connections. These were not items of isolation, but structures proud and tall, weathered and worn. Standing quietly. Happy, in silent solitude.
The walks progressed, the landscapes changed, and the horizons expanded.
‘Clouds formed peculiar shapes and lingered across the sight,
and the deep late summer colours lingered in the night.’
As the virus of self-isolation became a National obligation in March 2020, the transformation of this project began to take place.
The noise of life dimmed, and the Nation began to close inward, and the accompanying chorus of spring song seemed to amplify.
Dancing with the joys of life and new beginnings. The crisp sounds of early spring. Through forest, along hedgerows and down the tracks was a chorus of Birdsong. They had, I admit, always been there. But, seemingly, I didn’t want to hear them. It was only when I had found comfort in Solitude that natures chorus and the beauty of Birdsong opened up its world.
‘Without Solitude there would have been no Birdsong.
My sighs had been lost and my songs had been answered.’
Larger vistas replace small details. Roads straightened and pathways revealed themselves.
We all deal with things in our own way. The outside world and nature have a wonderful ability to calm, heal and present the simplest of pleasure before us. The simplest of things can speak to the most complex of needs.
We all need a little of nature’s soft beauty.
We just need an inner silence to be able to feel it.