Rural Residency Beginnings

October 2013

Artist Chris Drury has started his research this summer, interrogating 3 organic farmers in Dorset. He has been spending time in the village of Sydling, St Nicholas, learning about the land, the natural cycles and the practice of the farmers. He came up with a proposal for work this autumn and we can already tell you it looks very exciting

In addition to Chris Drury’s activities we have invited the local artist Guy Martin to also engage with the 3 farmers and their land. Martin has been interviewing the farmers who have been so kind to open up their farms for both artists and to share there amazing knowledge with us.

Image: Chris Drury

August 2013

Artist Chris Drury has visited the 3 farms in Dorset in preparation for his Rural Residency. He spent 2 days in the fields of Sydling St. Nicholas, talking to farmers and learning about the land.

Together with Cape Farewell's David Buckland and Yasmine Ostendorf, he spoke to farmers Pat and Will Best (Manor Farm), Johnny Morris (Huish Farm) and Chris and Suzanne Legg (Dollens Farm). Will Best has used organic working practice to run the 200 acres of Manor Farm for 25 years: “Soil is absolutely fundamental to life on earth. Looking after the soil, building fertility, enhancing soil biodiversity and recycling residues is vitally important.”

Johnny Morris runs Huish Farm, encompassing 600 acres. Since he converted to traditional British farming methods and wholly indigenous produce, the visiting public have been invited to learn more about the farming heritage of the local area.

Chris and Suzanne Legg run Dollens Farm, 700 acres of dairy and arable land. Dollens Farm has engaged the local community to participate and understand modern farming, encouraging neighbours and villagers to hold a voluntary stake in the farm’s future.

The farmers explained everything about their practice, and provided Chris Drury with food for thought to create new artwork.

Image: Chris Drury

About the Rural Residency Programme

Cape farewell's Rural Artist Residency Programme invites artists to engage diverse, wide-reaching audiences with the local narratives of Sydling St. Nicholas, Dorset, being an AONB, -Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. Working at the frontiers of natural, social and climatic change, they will interrogate the inspirational resilience and social ties that form when local communities embrace heritage, sustainability, and innovation.
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