The barn project

For the past couple of years, I’ve been doing a barn project. It started by accident, and almost finished when the farmer made some changes that almost broke my heart.

This is probably not the first photo of this barn I ever took, but it is the first on my Instax, which is where I like to think the project began to take shape. I was drawn to it because of the footpath and the way it nestles in landscape. I like the thought of people climbing that hill behind when I am standing there with a camera that cannot possibly capture their efforts.

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And I like to think of the people who walk this footpath – trudging through the field that is sometimes muddy and waterlogged and other times high with grass ready to make into hay.

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And sometimes it’s dreary and grey and if you didn’t know better you might have no idea that one of the most famous and important hills in Britain* lies beyond.

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My barn project is part of a wider Thursday walk project – organised by Utata. On a Thursday we walk, we take photographs. It is a commitment I’ve made to a community as much as to myself – once a week if I can, to walk to an often muddy field and take one photo on an instant camera.

A few weeks ago I walked in to the field and found the grass had been sprayed with weed-killer. I was a little shocked at my own reaction – that I felt a little bit heartbroken over the destruction of some blades of grass. Surprised at how attached I have become a stone barn in a field.

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I’ve been busy since then, but in truth I didn’t want to go back last week, even though I’ve been told that the farmer is likely only to plant a fresh crop of grass.

I can’t say it’s looking any better but it will change. Things decay, or move, or fall down. Other things grow and flourish and thrive. I have been documenting change over the past two years in this field. I’ll just have to learn to look at it as another of those changes.

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You can see the series of Thursday walk photos here.

*Kinder Scout – famous for the mass trespass in which working people fought and were imprisoned for the right to roam freely on these hills.

 

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