Harry Borden’s ongoing project is about Woodlanders, and is called ‘Four Hugs Wide’.
The project, on which he is collaborating with writer, Mireille Thornton, came into being when both Harry and Mireille realised the amount of emotional distress there is in society, caused by the notion that material possessions and status are the things to be striving for. This project plans to counter that narrative.
‘Four Hugs Wide’ will explore our relationship with the arboreal, through stories of people who love, live and work with trees and woodland across Great Britain.
Disillusioned with modern life and it’s emphasis on the individual, many people feel spiritually bereft. This project will consider a world where people acknowledge that our species is part of a larger ecosystem and live their lives accordingly.
Harry and Mireille aim to produce a book and stage exhibitions which will engage anyone who has ever sensed the mystery of trees, who loves what can be created with them, or ever wanted to live in woodlands or a treehouse.
At this point in time, 17 portraits have been made. These explore our diverse and deep connections with trees and woodlands from the material to the spiritual.
Harry says he is often struck at how invigorated he feels, after spending a few hours in the woods with these, somewhat unusual people who are the focus of this project.
‘It’s almost a quasi-religious experience with the canopy of the forest echoing the vaulting of a church.
The bursary from The Photographic Angle has been used to help with expenses, especially travel, as the project requires Harry and Mireille to go to remote locations to see the Woodlanders.
The bursary also enables Harry and Mireille to set aside time to work on the project, and contributes to child care costs as they both have children.