Nat Ord calls it forest bathing.
It was in the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns last year that the photographer sought refuge in the leafy solitude of the Chiltern-Mt Pilot National Park.
The 42-year-old Chiltern local ventured out into the forest every day - for exercise and inspiration - "it was about looking after my physical and mental health".
"Getting out in the forest every day was cathartic," says Ord, who reveals she struggled with anxiety as the ongoing impacts of the pandemic crippled her commercial work on the back of a devastating relationship breakdown.
"I ended up getting pretty sick," she admits.
"It's strange because during (the first) COVID-19 lockdown, I stopped drinking (living alone) and was really looking after myself.
"But that's how easy it is to be affected by poor mental health ... the forest was my therapy session."
Like artists before her, she took solace in her work.
As she wandered through the forest, at times barefoot, Ord started to really examine the world around her in minute detail.
With a background in ecology, she has an intimate knowledge of the plants, their species names and how they work in the landscape.
"So I had an artistic view with an ecological understanding," she says.
"I started to spend more time looking at individual plants; I took video portraits observing their movements - from trees moving erratically in the wind to orchids that barely move at all."
Ord produced the mesmerising Forest Dance, on display at Turks Head Gallery as part of the 2020 In The Bubble exhibition, documenting the community's experiences of COVID-19.
Another project, Clarity, was also grown in the healing depths of the forest.
At a time when her head and her heart were hurting, the forest became "a place to soothe, seek, know and rest".
Beautifully written letters - "the only tangible evidence I had of love" - played in her head as she walked, sat, cried and laughed among nature.
Ord created multiple exposures on trees overlayed with private letters from lovers at a very low opacity.
They could not be read but they were there - "much like the words in my head and my heart".
Ord was recently invited to talk about her forest projects at a PechaKucha slide night at Beechworth together with other inspiring locals.
PechaKucha ("chit chat" in Japanese) was developed by two architects in Tokyo; it gives presenters 400 seconds to tell their story with 20 slides and 20 seconds of chat about each.
Ord says it was a fun but challenging exercise to condense her creative process into such a format.
As COVID-19 continues its march across our lives, Ord continues to seek peace and purpose in the forest.
These days she's stumbling across more and more people on her daily strolls intent on the same thing.
- 'Forest Dance' and 'Clarity' are on display at Turks Head Gallery, South Albury until August 1.