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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.