‘Dens’ is a typological study of the architecture of dens. I was drawn to the temporary nature and various, sometimes ingenious designs of these structures. Each den is unique in design yet similar in construction, usually consisting of an upside-down cone shape, similar to a tipi, using a number of long branches as the frame coming together at the top and spreading out at the bottom. A tree or stump might be used as its main pillar of support. The design of each found wooden structure consists of materials from its place of construction: tree branches, bark, ferns and leaves.
I first noticed these dens while out running in Richmond Park. They started to pop up in my peripheral vision among the trees. Families and children were building them for the sheer fun of it; and used by any passer-by, usually for picnicking or shelter from bad weather. At times attempting to document the dens proved frustrating, as I would return to one that I wanted to photograph only to find it had been broken down. Frustration, however, quickly gave way to excitement; I was racing against the clock to capture these fleeting designs, and my photographs would be the only lasting record of them.