Photographer Alice Zoo escapes London for the 'rawness' of nature.
Photographer Alice Zoo escapes the anxiety of London life for the 'rawness and grit' of nature by the Andes – a pure experience she likens to time travel.
Last year, photographer Alice Zoo left London feeling disillusioned. There were anxieties about jobs, rent and money – “the usual stuff” – so she decided to move to Argentina in search of a different lifestyle.
“Argentina struck me as being free of visual clichés. It’s easy to conjure up a mental image of the US or the UK, for example, as there’s such a long history of photographic work coming out of them. But Argentina felt more of an unknown quantity, so it was a chance to be a little freer with my work aesthetically.”
Zoo’s choice to shoot in black-and-white was to illustrate “the rawness of the experience” as closely as she could. There was no internet, no central heating and no farm machinery: everything was done by hand.
“The rosy brightness of colour wouldn’t have done justice to the way it felt to be there,” she says. “It was almost like a kind of time travel – being subject to the whims of the elements, having no idea what was happening in the rest of the world, relying on traditional processes for the farm work.”
“The black-and-white for me came to act as an abstraction of the way it felt to be there, having completely changed my lifestyle from back in London. I also wanted to get away from whimsical notions of natural beauty, cherry blossom and idealised rural life.”