Growing up, our house was always full of storybooks. I would come home from school and my mother would have some incredible eastern European volume.
“Look at this one,” she’d say. “I need to show you.” We’d sit together on the sofa. I’d rest my head on her chest and she’d read to me.
In April 2008, while living in France, my mother was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and died seven months later.
Her decline was so fast that she wasn’t able to come back to England.
Her funeral – had it been in the UK – would have been a celebration of her legacy. As a schoolteacher she had inspired so many with literature and imagination. When I got back, I knew I needed to do something.
Nature became a huge comfort and helped me process my grief, which in turn inspired my photography. I found this location, Leith Hill, in Surrey, just as the bluebells were blooming.
The colour was exactly as intense as it is in my photograph. They come and go so quickly though, there was no time to actually make a picture there. I had to wait until the following spring.