– In Megan Cump’s new series entitled Feral she loses herself in the natural world, putting herself into the landscape.
My photographs fuse a gothic sensibility and performative elements with traditional landscape imagery, in order to explore the metaphoric potential of the environment. My most recent project, Feral, was shot while on solitary kayaking and hiking trips, using a medium format camera and basic camping supplies. In many works, traces of my body are visible as I merge with, take refuge in, and lose myself in the natural world. In some scenes my body is dwarfed by the primordial landscape, as if swallowed up by nature; in others I dissolve myself, in a rush of water, or am nearly engulfed in a creeeping fog. Many photographs reveal evidence of some seemingly paranormal event—a fire burning in a river or an ambiguous, intimate encounter with a fox. Through these enigmatic photographs, boundaries shift, blurring the line between human and landscape, and human and animal.
For me, the natural world is a charged, animated space, sometimes sheltering and at other times brutal, where a kind of revelation or rapture can occur. My photographs evoke a world stripped of all but natural elements and primal urges, simultaneously beautiful and harsh, horrific yet sublime.
These explorations of the unknown landscape suggests a parallel, yet more internal journey, a voyage into the unconscious. In this way, I think of my work as intensely psychological, and each photograph begins to suggest a personal mythology, narratives of metamorphoses. My work builds on photography’s historic dialogue with memory and mortality, presence and absence. Important influences also include Freud’s concepts of the uncanny, turn-of-the-century “spirit photography,” and acts of sudden transformation found in myths. Like images from a vivid dream, my work documents a poignant convergence of nature and the psyche.
© Megan Cump
See more work here.