In “Virginia,” one of six photo series in Mythopoesis, the MA degree show at the University of Brighton, Annalaura Palma displays photos retracing Virginia Woolf’s steps from Monk’s House in Rodmell, Sussex, to the River Ouse where she drowned herself March 28, 1941.
Palma explains that since no one knows the exact path Woolf took to the river or the precise spot she entered, the walk embodied an imaginary element.
Between spring and summer, Palma went on foot from Monk’s House to the River Ouse many times. In the process, she noticed swamps and bogs hidden by weeds that evoked a ghostly body shape.
“The water creates crevices in the land that evokes a ghostly body shape. I looked for Virginia Woolf ’s presence in her beloved landscape and I found her in the water. In my photographs, she became water: I imagined her like a water spirit who inhabits the landscape of the Ouse Valley which once she described ‘an inland sea’. – Palma
In an email, Palma said the photos in her “Virginia” series, which are handmade C-type photos, are just the start of a longer photographic project about Woolf and the English landscape. She is based in the UK and considers an investigation around the relationship between text and the photographic image is central to her work, according to her website.
Show dates for Mythopoesis are Sept. 12-19, with an opening reception Sept. 12, 5:30 to 9 p.m. at the Faculty of Arts Grand Parade. Palma’s photographs will also be published in a magazine.