Short bio: MelanieEclare is a photographer based in the south west of England, currently studying for an MA in Photography and the Land at Plymouth University. Her photographs have been extensively published in the UK and internationally in books and publications. As one of the leading UK garden photographersMelanie worked for the Saturday and Sunday Times, Saturday and Sunday Telegraph, U. S Garden Design Magazine, World of Interiors, Country Life, Country Living, Gardens Illustrated and House and Garden Magazine. Gardening editor and photographer for Red Magazine she also contributed to many books as well as having her own books published by Quadrille, Kyle Cathie and Weidenfeld and Nicolson working alongside writers such as Elspeth Thompson and Tom Petherick.
Why do you photograph on film? Film holds a strong presence for me. The whole process of photographing with film, from loading the camera to dropping into the stillness needed to be with the process of analogue image making is captivating. I always feel cheated of this process when I use digital and something about not being able to instantly see my work as it progresses, makes it more powerful and magical. Film photography brings me present with my subject in a way that captures the heart and soul of what is there and that is what my work is about; reconnection and finding what lies beneath the surface.
What is your work about? The broad theme of Melanie‘s work is an exploration of Nature Deficit Disorder. This describes the current divorce between human and habitat; an alienation from nature that negatively affects children and adults alike. Ever increasing screen time and over protective or disfunctional parenting alienates us from an innate sense of place and self as part of the rhythm and cycles of life. This is an issue that is effecting all of us now and will only continue to become more prominent as an issue for the 21st century and the new generations to come. Allied with this exploration is a search for meaning beyond the impact of being disconnected from one’s own nature, through the impact of intergenerational trauma. It seems that most of us are carrying within us the affects of the challenges of previous generations, sometimes acted out in family situations by this generation or often hidden away until something critical brings them to light, such as an illness or catastrophe. Melanie is looking beneath the immediately visible, at deeper layers of discontent that exist beyond surface narrative and stripping away the mask to reveal autobiographical details hidden within the context of her images.