Benjamin Phillips Nozdrachev – Pitkospuut

YLÄKERTA | 17.7.-3.8.2021

There is a point, somewhat deep in any forest, where the senses become clearer. Sound, smell
and movement become readable, and this is where I’m always trying to visit.
I like to leave the house without telling anyone where I’m going. Then just walk. It can be on the
path or off the path, and into the bush. Without any communication devices, distractions or
disturbances. Finding a place to watch and listen and learn.
I like how it feels to be alone in nature. In the isolation. Outside. Away from the construct of the
contemporary human agenda. It’s wildness feels healthy. I like to find a place where every
footstep has a choice. A place where you can feel blended, into the environment. A place where
at times it can feel like you’re being watched, from all directions, because you are. Not just by
animals, but by plants, dirt, clouds, the weather and everything nature has to offer. I feel especially
watched though by suspicious looking trees and even more so, stumps. An uprooted, cut or fallen
tree, displaying its glorious roots, knots, twists and history can often feel like meeting a strangely
contorted and wondrous creature. Frozen in positions that make me think they are actually
moving around when no one is looking. They are the things that have created and inspired the
stories of mystical forest creatures in the past. I consider them friends, and often revisit the same
stumps to see what they’ve been up to. What’s new? I walk around their neighborhood and sit
with them for a while. I take their portrait.
In Australian indigenous culture, all things in nature have a spirit, everything is important and
respected. From the smallest rock to the biggest mountain range. This belief is a major influence
in my work and in my life.

The work Pitkospuut is a homage to those footsteps and the spirits of those suspicious looking
trees and stumps.
It is the end result of two years walking alone, looking, listening and learning within the forests
throughout Finland and the bush in Australia.