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Back on the Farm

by George Rayner

Saturday 28th September – Saturday 12th October 2024

Private view: Friday 27th July 6-8pm

Open: Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12-5pm

Over the past year, George Rayner has embarked on a close journey through the landscapes and lives of North Devon’s young farmers. Creating a visual continuity that links the past with the present, highlighting the timeless essence of farming life while shedding light on the challenges and constant changes faced by today’s generation of young farmers.

Young British farmers are navigating a landscape fraught with unprecedented challenges, from economic pressures and climate change to policy shifts due to Brexit. Despite these adversities, they play a crucial role in society as the producers of our food and guardians of our rural heritage and biodiversity. Their commitment to sustainable practices and innovation is vital in the face of global food security challenges, ensuring the survival of local food systems and maintaining the scenic landscapes that are a cornerstone of British identity. Through this project George learnt that despite the continued negative outlook of the future of British farming, all farmers that participated were positive and had passion and fulfilment from their work. 

Rayner’s use of black and white film photography captures the raw, unembellished reality of farming life, evoking a sense of timelessness and authenticity. Throughout his work he is conscious of the connection to the comprehensive documentary work of James Ravilious looking at rural life in Northern Devon in the 1970s and the chance presented to witness the differences in 50 years. This exhibition is a tribute to farmers and their resilience, ingenuity and unwavering dedication to this way of life. A thank you to Councillor Pru Maskell for the commission and funding for allowing this project to be made.

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