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Photographer Lucinda Batchelor exhibits her images of the natural world as part of the Warwickshire Open Studios which continues this weekend

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ATMOSPHERIC painting-like portraits of the natural world are the specialism of photographer Lucinda Batchelor.

She is displaying her work along with two other artists, Ian Spiers and Nicky Lewis at Ian’s Snitterfield studio (6 Frogmore Road) as part of Warwickshire Open Studios Summer Art Weeks, which runs until Sunday (3rd July, 10am to 6pm).

Lucinda has work in the National Portrait Gallery collection, including a portrait of the late poet and philanthropist Felix Dennis. She has also photographed his eclectic collection of statues from his Garden of Heroes and Villains.

Dennis’s boldest legacy was the Heart of England Forest, which is where Lucinda spends a lot of her time, walking her dog and finding inspiration.

Bidford based photographer Lucinda Batchelor has an exhibition in Snitterfield as part of Warwickshire Open Studios. Photo: Mark Williamson. (57459771)
Bidford based photographer Lucinda Batchelor has an exhibition in Snitterfield as part of Warwickshire Open Studios. Photo: Mark Williamson. (57459771)

She explained: “I am lucky enough to have The Heart of England Forest on my doorstep, it’s a forest very much in its infancy. I was commissioned to photograph it many years ago as it was being planted so it has been a joy to watch it grow and mature.

“These woodlands offer so much throughout the seasons and I love to see the changes. The bareness in winter enables me to peer into the heart of the trees into the landscape beyond, noticing the bright yellow lichen clinging to palest grey bark together with the strikingly sharp thorns of bare wild rose bushes. In spring there is an abundance of wild flowers, and in the summer, with the trees in full leaf, it offers beautifully dappled light.

“I’m fascinated by the Japanese practice of Shinrin Yoku or ‘forest bathing’ which is the art of immersing yourself in nature for wellbeing. Hearing, smelling and feeling the forest with intensity allows me to discover images easily and puts me in a calm frame of mind for the rest of the day. Trilby appreciates it too, if only I could just stop him chasing the rabbits!”

Whether depicting a close-up of leaves, a knot of tree roots or a sweeping seascape, it is the use of light in Lucinda’s work that make her shots beguiling and worthy of any wall. Prices for her giclee print on Hahnemühle German etching paper start at £50.

She explained her use of light: “The beautifully poetic French word for twilight is ‘l’heure entre chien et loup’, or ‘the hour between the dog and the wolf’. The phrase describes the approaching dark as a time when things move from familiar to wild, or when the failing light means it’s hard to distinguish between a dog and a wolf. This phrase feeds into my passion for nature photography and describes perfectly how light changes everything.

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