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Event Details

Landscapes at Noon

Time: November 20, 2021 at 11am to November 21, 2021 at 3pm
Location: National Trust Flatford
City/Town: Flatford, Suffolk
Website or Map:…
Event Type: exhibition
Organized By: Liz Harrington
Latest Activity: Nov 16, 2021

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Event Description

Landscapes at Noon, an exhibition of experimental photography, celebrates the 200th anniversary of John Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’ and the surrounding landscape at Flatford. Using experimental analogue and historic photographic processes, artists Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington have created a series of works that investigate themes of light and shadow, and reflect on memory, time, and the spirit of place. It is the culmination of a commission by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project, in partnership with the National Trust and supported by Arts Council England, that took place over the summer at Flatford.

The centrepiece of the exhibition is an installation of hand printed cyanotypes on silk, showing multiple viewpoints of ‘The Hay Wain’ view today - a play on the multiplicity of views and replication of ‘The Hay Wain’ over the last 200 years. The floating silk panels, which are hung in the Granary building once owned by the Constable family, are reminiscent of the emulsion layer of early photographs, and the 3D effect that is created a reminder of early stereographs. As light seeps through the silk panels or shadows emerge, new perspectives and details appear and disappear, reflecting the transient nature of the landscape and memories that come and go.


Each silk panel was hand-coated by the artists with cyanotype emulsion to make it light sensitive. Large-scale negatives of ‘The Hay Wain’ view were created and then contact printed outside in the Granary garden to produce the print. The cyanotypes were made at noon, where possible – reflecting the weather condition of the day – and fixed using water from the River Stour. Images include those taken by the artists along with a selection from visitors who submitted their photographs via the #haywain200 hashtag on social media channels during the summer.


Also on show are some smaller experimental works and studies, including pinhole photographs, lumen and salt prints, as well as collaborative cyanotype nature pieces made with visitors over the summer. Plant matter that visitors collected for the collaborative works was repurposed to make a plant-based photographic developer and subsequently used to develop the pinhole photographs.


The exhibition title ‘Landscapes at Noon’ is a nod to both Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’, originally called ‘Landscape: Noon’, and the cyanotype process that was used, which ideally requires strong sunlight and the midday sun.


The exhibition runs from 23rd October – 21st November. Please see National Trust website for opening times. 

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