Days Lost, at The Print House Gallery

Rhythm Circus magazine

An exhibition by Katja Mayer & Peter Chadwick.

These are landscapes which seem to haunt themselves. The strangeother object sitting in woodland appearing to emit a kind of spiritual mist which then wraps and clings to the object which made it.. Haloing it in a self generated apparition. It's been said that space and time warp inside forests, that they seem vastly larger from the inside than the outside. It's true, but what this series of images seems to suggest is that within those forests one can find remainders of spaces and times that had hitherto been hidden and lost.

A makeshift church, a red mist bleeding from where it's missing roof once sat, was maybe once the centre of some ancient forested society. The bright sunshine vertically flickering through the gaps between trunks belies the darkness that seems to seep through the air. This doesn't seem a place I would feel comfortable settling, at ease to forage and hunt - maybe that's why all these buildings are abandoned, artefacts and icons to apocalypticism, deserted until discovered by wondering photographers.

There are traces of past occupation, ladders lay by the side of a wooden hut - perhaps it was a schoolhouse, or a lookout, a store? Whichever, it's now empty, the open windows framing only a darkness inside. Absence and void. A camper van disappears into the blackness of a hedge, perhaps during an attempted escape - two broken windows hint at a desperation. Coming out of the back underside is the alluring and terrifying red mist. In another image three dark monolithic slabs stand filling the frame, monuments to something - maybe something horrific - now pot marked and scarred. An internal space conjures up the feeling of a torture chamber, but here, instead of the mist, we see hard red marks against the walls and objects. Something happened here.

These objects, and the loaded emotions and fears they provoke, are more haunting because of the unremarkable woodlands in which they sit. These are the archetypal British woods, the ones we ramble in, the ones of youthful adventures, the very ones which have formed so much of our heritage and identity. One wonders how many objects and places like these are secreted amongst our deepest wooded areas, and how did we not know about them until, like here, we are presented with them so objectively - like debris of a psychological hidden past littering our collective landscape and memory.