Ash is a series about what comes after the fire.
It's about the emotional journey people have to make after everything they had burned down. In the summer of 2018 Rabbit, Sofee, their unborn child and two dogs were forced on this journey after their community farm got hit by a big forest fire in the south of Portugal.
Our wish is that with these photographs there will be more awareness of the problem of forest fires and their causes - in this case the overplanting of the eucalyptus tree in Portugal.
The nakedness represents being stripped bare, like the fire did to the earth and to Rabbit and Sofee's material posessions. The ash on their bodies represents being burned. It's also an artistic twist to the inevitable - you can't walk around on their land without ending up covered in soot.
Most of the shots came into being by just allowing Rabbit and Sofee to be themselves in front of the camera. To hold space for what wanted to unfold.
Project and photography by Bartjan de Bruijn
In collaboration with Maria Stuut.
Original idea of combining nudity and ash as bodypaint by Kate Moore.
Eternal greatfulness to Rabbit and Sofee, their soon to be born little one, and everyone else involved, for opening up in a moment of grief.
Sofee and Rabbit are currently rebuilding their new home and preparing for the birth of their first child. If you want to support their efforts, all aid is very much welcomed at bunq.me/tocadocoelho. Thank you.
(click on one of the photos for a view tailored to your screen, and browse with arrow keys)