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Wild or cultivated, solitary or within a forest, rural or urban, trees have long provided a compelling source of inspiration for artists and photographers alike. Both as standalone aesthetic 'objects' and as symbols of broader cultural significance, trees have an understated, sometimes underappreciated ability to evoke a deep, primal sense of wonder and, indeed, pleasure.
Whether captured as functional botanical records or as a means of creative expression, Into the Woods is an elegant, informative introduction to the ways in which distinctive patterns of branch, bark, leaf and root have continued to offer arresting subjects for photographers across the centuries. Written by Martin Barnes, Senior Curator of Photographs at the V&A, with over 100 photographs ranging from the 19th through to the 21st century, supported by commentaries and an introduction of c. 1,500 words, Into the Woods illustrates the wild (or cultivated) and wonderful world of trees in photography.
Martin Barnes is Senior Curator of Photographs at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.