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Natura Journal and Travels Through a Subtly Alternate View of the Natural World: Wanderings 8/26

Natura Journal is an occasional publication that via themed individual issues explores the natural world and our environment through photography and accompanying text.

Founded by Sophie Goodison, with editorial assistance by  James Hollis, the first issue is handsomely printed and through the use of  an elegant and uncluttered layout provides a stunningly beautiful, meditative and calming journey across a number of landscapes, including the Bavarian Alps, the Lofoten Islands off the coast of Northern Norway and the coastline of Cornwall:

“This volume of Natura explores the theme form… We journey from the high peaks of Southern Germany, across distant lands to Northern Norway and back to the familiar edge of the English coastline. We uncover freedom found in an Arctic breath… discuss land shaped by an ice age… take a walk in the footsteps of Vikings, and journey through some of the oldest rocks on Earth. We voyage through mountains that stretch across eight alpine countries, and embrace the kaleidoscopic colours of wildflowers.”

The photographs at times contain an almost ethereal, otherworldly character but the journal isn’t so much “wyrd rural” but rather could perhaps be filed alongside the likes of the publisher Little Toller, the Ernest Journal and Barbara Bosworth and Margot Anne Kelley’s book The Meadow in terms of providing a subtly alternate view of the landscape and natural world.

Often the photographs capture a sense of the scale and longstanding nature of the landscapes, where change can take millions of years to occur. Highlighting this and the relatively modern arrival of human civilisation, only in two of the photographs do any people appear, although they are merely tiny pinpricks in amongst the natural landscape.

Elsewhere in some of the photographs of the Lofoten Islands traditional red coloured wooden houses appear, the design of which follows a lineage back to Viking times and which are built on stilts. These are positioned somewhat precariously as they overhang the sea on an outcrop of rocky coastline and are again dwarfed by nature, in this instance being set against an imposing and slightly ominous seeming backdrop of a dark coastal mountain range, and have an isolated “edge of the world” character to them.

The photography of rock formations, the light on the sea and so on at times become almost like abstract images and textures, while the accompanying text  which explores the history of areas and the writer’s journey through them has an often poetic, almost lush or balm-like character that envelopes and immerses the reader.

There is a certain refreshing anonymity to the journal in terms of its creator, as though the project and the atmosphere it creates are the overriding concern. In relation to which, to indicate who created the photography, writing etc throughout the journal there is just one small line of text which says  “Created by Sophie Goodison” on the credits page. On the Natura website Goodison is listed as Founder & Creative Director but the photographs and writing are not directly credited to her, and it is only at one remove from the journal and project on her personal portfolio website that she is listed as being responsible for graphic / layout design, writing and photography work on Natura.



Elsewhere at A Year In The Country:


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