Surfers, swimmers, free divers, artists, gardeners, naturalists and anyone else inspired by the great outdoors is being invited to participate in Becoming Nature, which is a SPAN Arts Love Stories to Nature commission run by local photographer and writer, Lou Luddington.
Becoming Nature will profile nine local Pembrokeshire nature lovers as they explore the power and meaning of people’s connection to the natural world, using photography, poetry and prose. The aim is to capture how being in these places can open people’s hearts and provide them with a deep sense of wellbeing.
Lou Luddington is a nature photographer and writer whose work is inspired by the ocean and coastal environment.
With a PhD in marine biology Lou’s formal training is as an observer and scientist; knowing the life stories of the species and environments that she is immersed in helps her create visually compelling art works and write with a deep sense of connection and awe.
Her writing and images have featured in a wide range of national magazines and online publications, including Oceanographic, Finisterre’s The Broadcast, Yachting Monthly and the Do lectures blog.
She published her first book in 2019, Wondrous British Marine Life: a handbook for coastal explorers and held her first photographic exhibition, The Sea From Within, at the Bug Farm in St David’s, which showcased the incredible marine life of Pembrokeshire waters. This was a launch pad for making her images available as fine art prints. Her image Nature’s sculptures of marine invertebrate life growing on a rocky shore near Solva was highly commended in the British Wildlife Photography Awards in 2019.
“My idea for Love Stories to Nature is based around my belief that a collective shift towards ecological mindfulness is needed to protect and recover our natural environment and embrace the climate emergency,” she said.
“Our health and happiness is inextricably linked to the natural world and I aim to explore the power and meaning of this connection in Becoming Nature and capture how being in these places opens their hearts, provides nature therapy and a deep sense of belonging.”
By interviewing participants during the session Lou aims to capture the essence of their feelings and what their time in nature means to them in words. From this she will craft a Haiku poem as a distillation of an aspect of the session.
The final result will be a Love Story to Nature from each person, made up of a triptych of images plus accompanying poems and heart-centred captions. Lou will share her works at a launch event in January 2024.
Participants will be photographed and interviewed in a favourite local natural environment however the location need not be disclosed in the final sharing. Participation is voluntary for one half day during October or November. People will need transport to their chosen location but travel expenses can be covered by signing up to SPAN arts volunteer scheme.
Each participant will receive an 8 x 12 inch fine art print of your favourite image from the session or from Lou’s photo archives.
Applications should be sent to [email protected]