Book Review: Celestial Bodies

Celestial Bodies is a vibrant 60 page photo book self published by collaborators Eleanor Hardwick, Rachel Hardwick and Chrissie White. Together, these three young photographers traveled across eight of America’s western states to document their experiences in the landscapes they uncovered, with the motivation to investigate the female body’s relationship to its natural surroundings. Each book in its first limited edition of 100 copies features a foiled cover, a handmade acetate insert, and accompanied text written and hand painted by Eleanor. The book is designed by Jamie Shaw.

When was this project first conceived and what drew you to creating this body of work?

We have known each other through the internet for years, and there is a real synergy between all of our creative ideas as well as our own philosophies. We were all dreaming of escaping the city to reconnect with nature, and perhaps it was late 2014 that we decided we would adventure some of the USA’s Western national parks. The West made sense not only because Chrissie is based in Seattle, but because its landscapes are so varied.

We knew we wanted to make a body of work that explored escaping the pace and uncertainty of modern living, and reconnecting with the earth – because that is what drove us to travel in the first place. Chrissie and our other travel-mate, Elvia, had a loose idea that we should make a travel book – however when we looked back on the work after travelling, it ended up dictating to us that a much more subjective, fine art approach would be more sensitive to the work. (Note: Elvia ended up not being involved with the book itself in the end, but we owe a lot to her as a good friend and fellow creator who played a huge role in making this book so magical).