Daisy Walker finds healing in her images of nudity and nature
Her latest series, 'Reunion', is all about the body and its relationship to the environment.
Despite the challenges this year has presented, photographer Daisy Walker has managed to stop, rethink a lot of things in her life, and find positive new direction. “Despite the changing world we find ourselves in, and the many social upheavals we've been a part of, I've actually found space and calm in 2020 that I think I've been searching for throughout my whole life,” she says.
Back in 2017, we spoke to Daisy about her platform Women in Fashion, a non-profit project that ran until this year and championed gender equality in image-making. Her new exhibition, Reunion, seems like the natural conclusion of such a journey. A series of black-and-white, collaged images that find herself and her subjects undressed against a quiet natural backdrop, the series bears all the hallmarks of her work, yet feels freer than ever. “My work focuses mainly on the body and environment,” she says. “As a survivor of sexual abuse, I first experimented with nude self-portraiture as a means of processing my own trauma, and through it found healing and a passion for the body in what it does and what it represents.”
Although she’s always been outdoorsy, Daisy, like many other people, found a renewed interest in naturalism during the pandemic. “In a lot of ways we had become divorced from our natural spaces and forgotten our primitive connection to the organic environment we have evolved out of,” she says. “Reunion documents a reconciliation between the Earth and us, its inhabitants. It is a coming together between people and planet. We are bound to the earth and rely upon it for our own survival, but our modern lifestyles don't reflect a harmony or equality with the natural world. I wanted to show the body and environment as equal parties in each image and to elongate the photographic process past the usual (camera, develop, print, scan) and see where it could go without limitations. Cropping, enlarging, ripping and collaging were ways to find new images within images that told more of the story than just the images I took in-camera.”
Collaborating with ethical womenswear brand Ssōne to present these images, Daisy found synergy between the brand’s ethos and her own when starting Women in Fashion. “It came about through a shared passion for sustainability and community. The Ssōne store aims to be a community space for women. This was my first meeting after months distanced from the industry due to the coronavirus and it felt like the perfect coming together of minds and values.”
As for moving into 2021, she intends to push forward with her exploration of bodies and nature. “It’s really the first time I've had the complete freedom to explore them together. They’ll continue to be important issues for me in both my personal and commercial work.”
Reunion will be on show between 4-8pm on 15 December 2020 at Ssōne, 17 Chiltern St, London W1U 7PQ
All images courtesy Daisy Walker