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  • Writer's pictureRuta Saksens Kalmane


'The Bush Monster' is currently a project that is still work in progress in the production stage.

‘The Bush Monster’ is a photographically illustrated rhyming story for children inspired by both my son and nature in my backyard, located in the Dutch woodland region The Veluwe. The book tells an unusual story of a bush monster who is used to hunting creatures that are different than others and chooses a wooden reindeer hiding in greenery (Figure 1) as his next target.

Fig. 1: Saksens Kalmane 2022. A reindeer hiding its head [digital photographic image, mirrored]

Bullying happens across all ages, to children and adults alike. People who are bullied often feel miserable, scared, hurt and ashamed. Quite often the person being bullied suffers in silence and feels lonely. This peculiar tale can serve as a starting point for a more in-depth discussion between an adult and a child around such topics as being different than mainstream, equality, empathy, tolerance and forgiveness.

'The Bush Monster' is a conceptual continuation of the rhyming story 'What happens to leaves when they fall off trees?' and photographically illustrates a story with nature photography, highlighting arbitrary connections in nature that lead to new meanings by combining, cropping, cutting, adjusting, rearranging, flipping and mirroring digital photographic images to achieve unusual combinations which the viewer can decipher together with the complementing textual information. Besides digital photographic images, the project includes also work done with other photographic techniques such as a pinhole body cap on a digital camera and reverse lens on a digital camera, as well as it includes work from other mediums like handmade paper, organic matter and a sound track, allowing the playfulness and experimentation to further enrich the book and providing an opportunity for a child to interact with the book by actively involving visual sense in combination with textual information and auditory (Figure 2) and tactile senses, offering a more complex engagement.

Fig 2: Saksens Kalmane 2022. Friendly support [digital photographic image and sound track via QR code]


Figure 1: SAKSENS KALMANE, Ruta. 2022. A reindeer hiding its head [digital photographic image, mirrored].

Figure 2: SAKSENS KALMANE, Ruta. 2022. Friendly support [digital photographic image and sound track via QR code].

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