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The magazine of the art-form of the photo-essay “A free, really high quality photo-essay magazine.  Fabulous!” Stephen Fry. British actor, writer and film & documentary maker
Dec 2013 back issue
by Juliette Mills
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This very personal project began nearly four years ago when we set up home in the depths of a remote and wild, rugged part of England - Dartmoor National Park. It was an adventure and a risk, on many levels. But we were thinking 'you only live once'. The house was run-down, the garden over-grown, all of it mature and full of magic.  This is the story of my life with my two boys, two and five when we arrived, living in a place where we all feel closer to nature and the elements than ever before. A rickety old house and an enchanting garden. It's a place where they can climb and run without clothes, wade through a giant pond, and hide in a forest. Where they walk beneath ancient trees full of birdsong to get to the school bus. And beyond the garden is the vast high moor, an ancient, open landscape, full of myth and stories, where they can feel the strength of wind or the sound of silence. We never wanted to ram their lives with an action plan, preferring to give them nature and space to make believe. I set out to simply record daily life with them here. Moments which become milestones… Firsts… like their first experience of death, with our old dog Bella. My plan was to document two brothers growing from boys to men. As the years go by, I see the boys revealing a natural curiosity and zest for exploring outside and what they gain physically and emotionally when given the freedom to do it in their own way. We've had great highs and awful lows - harsh winters, illness, being snowed in and running out of oil, relying on fire with our own logs and home-made everything. At times I wonder if we're too laid back with the boys outdoors. Or too strict with them indoors when it comes to electronic fun. But we're just following our hearts. These pictures show a bond between two brothers growing day by day, a close relationship with nature setting down roots, and, possibly, a dawning of what's most important in our life - family.
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