An Investigation of the Photographic Interpretation of Woodland and Forests

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


This thesis investigates the visual interpretation of one particular landscape motif – woodland and forests. The primary research was undertaken through the production of a major body of photographic work, which has been published in both exhibition and book form. A compact disc containing images of the exhibition installation is included here.

The thesis sets out to contextualise and interrogate the practical work through a series of sections that begin with a chronological autobiographical account of the influences that have shaped the artist’s creative ideas and responses to the landscape. An overview of the history of the representation of trees and forests in both western and eastern societies places the work in an historical and social context. The painting and photographic artistic traditions are discussed.

The practical methodologies are discussed, including the technical aspects of the equipment and materials selected to make the images through which the primary research was conducted. The subsequent production, publication and public display of the finished practical work was a major element, which led to the interpretation of the research and this is discussed in detail.

The outcome of this work is then interrogated in depth, and how the various locations photographed and the strategies adopted, succeeded in the research objective of expressing a wide range of responses to the landscape via the interpretation of one motif.
Date of Award27 Nov 2009
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Aberystwyth University
SponsorsPrifysgol De Cymru | University of South Wales
SupervisorJohn Harvey (Supervisor) & Alistair Crawford (Supervisor)


  • photography
  • trees
  • woodlands
  • forests

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