Much of the inspiration for Dara Scully’s photography comes from mixing her loves of nature, fantasy and folklore. Her models become goddesses in silent woodland settings, where they blend into their surroundings. your branches/my bones is taken from a series of the same name which features Scully as both muse and photographer. These are rich, seductive self portraits described by Amanda Jasnowski as “creative, conceptual and emotive.” We asked Dara to reveal her inspirations and the dreams that inform her work.

your branches/my bones (2012) photo, Dara Scully

your branches/my bones (2012) photo, Dara Scully

I usually say that I have a bird in my left lung. He tells me beautiful and sad stories about girls and trees. In other words, my work speaks about my own world; it’s a dialogue between my dreams and reality.
your branches/my bones is a story about a girl and an ancient tree. It’s a kind of poem about love and fidelity.
I’m a forest girl, so the your branches/my bones series was a kind of necessity.
I have a little notebook and I draw all my pictures, usually at night. Then, when I wake up, I go to the forest and look for the best location. Sometimes the pictures are versions of these drawings, sometimes they are something different… but they are always a part of me.
Statements are important, but, in the end, stories must be told by the photographs.
I love the suggestive work of Sally Mann and the fragile poetry of Masao Yamamoto; their photographic voices are very different, but I feel a connection between their work and mine. There are many others: Margaret M. de Lange, Jock Sturges, David Hamilton, Ingar Krauss… but Mann and Yamamoto are my favourites.
I want to explore the landscapes with a new language. I’m starting a new project, something different about antagonistic worlds.
You can see more of Dara’s work at

“ This is less a photograph and more a dynamically composed, surrealist visual poem. Many of us will have been happily scared, even scarred, by the anthropomorphic phantasmagoria of woodlands as depicted in children’s book illustrations. This image taps those primal reservoirs, along with other potent arboreal references, from eco-warrior ‘tree-hugging’ to Swedish poet Tomas Transtromer’s dreamlike evocations of uncanny human interaction with the mythic Nordic forest” – David Sheppard

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