A dense stand of western red cedar guard the path into the darkness beyond the lamplight. A gap in the foliage creates a void, an invitation to enter into an unknown and uncertain space.
We spend our lives surrounded by the security of possessions, relationships and roles, but our futures hold nothing so substantial; one day we must all enter into true not-knowing - into a dark, unconscious place. Jasper Goodall’s nocturnal landscapes photographs are a close encounter with this undomesticated realm. Each photograph asks the implicit question: what lies beyond the light?
The perception of the landscape is not a one way street, we embellish places with imagination, memory, culture and spirituality. This understanding is central to Goodall’s work as he seeks to imbue the physical spaces that he photographs with palpable atmosphere. His work is more fairytale than documentary as the viewer is transported into an eerie netherworld – a portrayal of reality that we are not used to seeing. After all: the night is when we dream – it is a wilderness unto itself. At night in a dark wood, one steps beyond the familiar trappings of human life and there is a powerful re-activation of childhood fears and wild imaginings; there is something almost regressive in the experience. Indeed, in folk and fairytale, the dark woods are often considered a metaphor for the unconscious mind; an internal wilderness populated with perils, terrors and half seen entities. However, in this space of diminished rationality there is perhaps, the potential of a proximity and a reconnection with a long lost sacredness.