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essay by Steven BrownThe Fens, a region of reclaimed marshland in eastern England, is one of the richest arable areas in the UK. Paul Hart has been photographing this landscape of agribusiness over the last six years. In FARMED he explores this wide-open environment, a linear landscape of straight lines and flat horizons, which is monoculture at it’s core. Hart’s narrative pinpoints the objects that remain when all that surrounds has been cleared by modern agricultural practice. He conveys nature’s vulnerability within this unsheltered and unprotected environment.
Hart’s working method is in the vein of documentary, exploring our relationship to the landscape by highlighting elements that are so often overlooked. He employs the analogue process and traditional darkroom techniques, to convey something of the soulful in a landscape that is rarely considered. As Steven Brown says in his introductory essay: “Hart’s photographs raise important questions about possession, ownership, mobility, stewardship, history, memory, perspective – the list goes on. But none of these would matter much if the photographs were not, in their attention to the poetry of the place, earnest and moving.”
British photographer Paul Hart explores our relationship with the landscape in both a humanistic and socio-historical sense. His work has been exhibited widely at venues such as the Royal Academy of Art, The Photographers’ Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens Kew, as well as at prestigious art fairs such as Paris Photo, AIPAD New York, and Photo London. He has received several major awards including the International Photography Awards (USA) and PX3 Prix de la Photographie (France) and his first book, Truncated (Dewi Lewis Publishing), received much critical acclaim. Hart regularly collaborates with Ilford Photo, and his work is often featured in international publications and the press. He is widely known as a leading traditional printmaker, making finely crafted silver gelatin prints.
Steven Brown is a photography critic and poet. He is coeditor of the fine art photography publishers 21st Editions in the USA and Edition Galerie Vevais in Germany. Brown currently lives in Cambridge, MA, where he is a fellow at Harvard’s Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study.
Cloth bound hardback
56 Duotone plates, 295mm x 295mm