I sleep in the bed I was born in is one outcome from a larger commission, to consider the overlooked voices of Peterborough city regions rural neighbourhoods. I worked directly with the farming community, specialists associated with the countryside, commissioned local scientist Dan Butt to create a new artwork and collaborated with ceramicist Rob Bibby. As Lead Artist I also supported 6 further artists to create and develop work with their own networks – all our findings inform the city’s new cultural strategy.
Spending time in the diverse rural communities revealed hard working ingenious experts. All who are doing their best to care through what they grow, make, share, innovate improve and promote. Yet during our conversations many expressed being isolated, stressed and even hated. Which combined with frequently challenging living and working conditions, effects of climate change and volatile markets, it made me wonder why they remain within these rural homelands.
This book explores this complexity. And aims to highlight a common ability within the studied community to see and function in the world fully aware of its contradictions. Sitting side by side the photographs invite further consideration on this balance. Challenging historical representations of the ‘land’ which distorts our abilities to fully appreciate what it is to inhabit a rural neighbourhood.
40pp Photobook. Edition of 50
Clare and Peter Harris
Judith and Rosie Jacobs
Lance, Amy and Delilah Charity
East of England Agricultural Society
Funded by Peterbrough Cultural Strategy
Supported by Metal