Over the years, the “familiar” for humans has changed drastically. Our new everyday surroundings are Beds, Sofas, TVs, Mirrors, things which Earth finds inexplicably foreign and inorganic – artificial. Humanity has cocooned itself in convenience, where there are no long walks involved to get water, no gathering of leaves to make a “bed”, and no experience in dealing with the flora and fauna of the forests. As civilization progressed, cities became the new forests, electricity became the new torches, automobiles became the new feet and electronics became the new tools.
Now imagine if your immediate surroundings were teleported to the forest. Imagine shaving in a mirror, or vacuuming the floor or even setting up a play room for your child – in the wild. You will be looking awkward in these surroundings the same way mother nature has found you awkward all this while.
But it’s almost impossible to even bring up an image like that in your mind right? As an antidote to this, through an incredible photo series titled No Place Like Home, Wout Overkamp, a Dutch Photographer, manages to showcases how every daily activity of ours, in some way, (dis)connects us with nature.
The monotonous, everyday actions have been portrayed by stripping away the familiar and reconnecting the viewer with scenes of the wilderness, making them alien and ironically unnatural in this “new” context. Not only are they visually enchanting, putting across a fresh new perspective, but they reinforce a very important message – We are nothing without the Earth.
“A lot of people, and including me, are sitting a lot behind the computer, and sitting indoors, living in cities, these kinds of things,” says Overkamp, in an interview with Doug Bierend; “To make these photos you really have to slow down, and make your frame, and direct the scene, and yeah — it’s just being out there in nature. And whether I go a half an hour of walking into nature for a spot, or a day, all this time in nature makes an inspiration of the series, a way to connect with myself and nature.”
The genius behind the photographs is it’s composition; it is technically the same song, but to another tune. Everyday activities are familiar, and so is nature, but when put together there is a strange irony and humour to it that captivates you. The messages of environment protection and global warming are all over every possible platform, but merely depicting the inappropriateness of everyday life on Earth’s true soil is a startlingly effective mechanism to deliver the point home. Art such as this is what catches people’s attention more over mountains of garbage and ghastly doomsday predictions, while still having the same underlying message; “What are we doing, and for how long can we keep doing it?”