The 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 explores our relationship with the landscape in both a humanistic and socio-historical sense. His 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.”