Ultimately the four images I chose each had something different. Rather than follow a theme within a theme I felt that each image represented something slightly different about human presence.
My first image was from a gate which blocked the way onto a public footpath. The gate was not hard to get around and primarily designed to stop vehicles using the footpath as a short cut to some nearby buildings but I was intrigued by the concept of this human made barrier blocking the access to nature. It began to symbolise how humans are not simply happy to exist with nature but the need we have to control it. The gates, the chain and the lock is a physical stamp of us on the environment, a statement that this is ours and it belongs to us.
My second image about the subtleties of human presence. Unlike the bold dramatic first image this image set out to show that human structures can exist almost unnoticed within a natural environment. Hidden in plain sight it is easy to walk past the large black industrial pipework and not notice it. Time has rendered it almost invisible as nature has risen up and enveloped it, claiming it as part of its own. This reminded me of Ralph Waldo Emersons romantic view of nature when he talked about human constructions and how people view them as contrary to their environment but perhaps they are not necessarily a blot on the landscape and that nature finds a way to welcome them in.
“Readers of poetry see the factory-village, and the railway, and fancy that the poetry of the landscape is broken up by these; for these works of art are not yet consecrated in their readings; but the poet sees them fall within the great Order not less than the bee-hive, or the spider’s geometrical web. Nature adopts them very fast into her vital circles, and the gliding train of cars she loves like her own.” (The Poet by Ralph Waldo Emerson 1844)
My third image follows on from the second in as much as it shows the difference between something man made and something grown in nature. The metallic pipe protrudes upwards from the ground but has long since ceased being of any use. The top half has broken off leaving no clue to its original purpose and now it is left to decay. There are still plenty of paint traces and although now faded I felt it was clear that whoever installed this pipe originally had taken great care to paint it in a similar colour to its surroundings in an attempt to blend it in. I am sure that it never truly looked part of its environment but now that the paint is peeling and rust is spreading across the surface its slow decay means it stands out as a bit of an eyesore. In stark contrast to this, nature is flourishing around it, green and healthy it shows the difference that life makes. Nature survives and grows, it thrives on the elements around it while those same elements destroy mans creation.
My forth image follows on in as much as it shows the contrast between man made and natural grown objects but this time there has been no effort to disguise this or to make in blend in. For me this again seeks to highlight the differences between man and nature. The Pepsi can represents another part of us, one that shows disregard for its environment and casually pollutes it with our everyday presence. The can when thrown landed on a broken tree branch and here was an item of natures trash. Something which for whatever reason had become detached from its owner and now lay equally discarded on the forest floor. Unlike the can the branch appears natural to its environment, blending in to its surroundings and the environment quickly responds with moss starting to grow over the bark and plants spring up around it. The can is unlikely to ever be picked up and nature will no doubt find a way to amalgamate this foreign body into its habitat but much more cautiously that that which it considers its own.