On the cusp of the new year, I wanted to avoid any further musings on 2020 as they might relate to the pandemic, not least because I suspect the ‘new year’ is going to feel a lot like the old one – at least for a while. Instead, I’ve gathered together all seven ‘Lost In Fields’ films as my swansong to a strange, slow year that was not without its simple pleasures and rich in moments of beauty.
Getting Lost in Fields is a series of little films prompted into life by the Kick-About #6, which saw me attempting to evoke the rhapsodic sensations of being out and about with my camera in the fields of Kent during the Spring lock-down. I didn’t know there would be a fourth film – or indeed a fifth, but there’s something simple and very satisfying about combining these impressionist photographs with Kevin MacLeod’s evocative musical miniatures.
I’d be the first to acknowledge no artistic boundaries are being tested here or new cultural frontiers explored – and yet I do feel as if this is as close as I can get to taking other people with me into the nebulae of Boughton Scrub on that late September afternoon to experience the peace of it, the ruffle of the breeze, and the melancholy.
Swirling nebulas of fluff, improbable stratas of colour, and a blousy imprecision of detail… You could almost be immersed in cloudy, bubble-filled water in some of these images from Boughton Scrub’s September show.
My last visit to Boughton Scrub was back in July, and it was a riot of Summer froth and cockerel colours. Yesterday evening, with the sun already setting, this same stretch of unbothered grassland presented much softer effects, white balls of fluff from the still-flowering field of blue-lilac Phacelia tanacetifolia puffing past me like snowflakes. The breeze was very cool and strong, so at no point were the swathes of grass, thistle and rumex perpendicular or still. Everything everywhere billowed, producing dabs of pastel smoke and throwing up welcome daubs of gold from rogue sunflowers nodding in the wind. Again, the range of colour, texture and movement in this one small patch of ground was astonishing. More images to follow over the coming days.
One last look at the vibrant plumage of Boughton Scrub, as the sun lowered and the time came finally to take our leave of this secret garden.
Another crop of images this morning, featuring more of those striking swathes of rumex spires and daubs of purple thistle. Some of these begin to feel like I’m looking at sections of elaborate. luxurious wallpaper and I’m feeling the urge to tessellate!
A second visit to Boughton Scrub – a living tapestry of stitches, fine threads and scarlet skeins.
Late yesterday afternoon we found an extraordinary place, an improbable paradise of colour, texture and impressionist sensorial pleasure… in spitting distance of a sewage plant! I suspect we might have been engaging in some light trespassing, but the lure of the rust-red veination of the dock leaf flowers against the brushwork of the tall grass was too alluring! Vase-shaped thistle flowers peppered the view with constellations of purple, and the air was alive with bees, butterflies and the chatter of goldfinches. This unseen, overlooked field on the edge of more practical spaces was swooningly beautiful, and my camera, glutton that it is, gobbled up the landscape and couldn’t stop. More to follow!