Four Hugs Wide

Harry Borden and Mireille Thornton

“It seems to me that the natural world is the greatest source of excitement; the greatest source of visual beauty; the greatest source of intellectual interest. It is the greatest source of so much in life that makes life worth living.”
Sir David Attenborough

Four Hugs Wide endeavors to weave together narratives of human connection with trees and woodlands through the mediums of portrait photography, poetry, and film. It aims to construct a communal narrative that celebrates both humanity and arboreal nature, offering a poignant exploration of personal relationships with the natural world.

In the face of media reports highlighting the disappearance of forests and woodlands, Four Hugs Wide emerges from a simple yet profound desire to delve into the contemporary realities of human-tree interactions. This collaborative endeavor seeks to unearth insights in a world where the significance of trees often seems obscured and their habitats threatened.

Rooted in personal experiences of the profound mental health impacts stemming from the absence and depletion of trees, the project emerges as a quest for reconnection and meaning. What begins as a journey fueled by curiosity and a sense of solastalgia expands into a diverse tapestry of voices encompassing artists, scientists, educators, and various other individuals united by their shared reverence for arboreal life.

Selected work from the project has been shown at the Plough Arts Centre, Devon in January – March 2020 and in summer 2021 outdoors in Bristol thanks to Jack Arts / Build Hollywood. This latter exhibition linked with World Conservation Day on 28th July.