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.
We left the house late on Tuesday afternoon, the sun already leaving the sky. The wind was getting up too, so by the time we arrived at Knave’s Ash, the camera was struggling. That said, as is often the case, limitations gave rise to some pretty dream-like results, the orangey light from the already-set sun giving the final few yellow flower heads a last chance to glow.
A final visit to the soft gilded bristles of Knave’s Ash, with its bronze skeins and glinting copper.
At one end of this dry, brittle field, all the stiff congregations of desiccated rumex spires made me think of ermine, or of leopard moths, or the streaking on tulip petals, and always brush work, as if someone has been using the tip of a very dry brush to lift these late Summer vistas with a few licks of stronger colour.
More photographs from the flaxen, tinder-dry periphery of Knave’s Ash, where layer-upon-layer of fine filaments hold the late afternoon light at their tips and everything is crisp under my flip-flops, but soft on the eye.
In the knowledge the recent heat and drought must be turning the meadows, hay fields and forgotten scrublands into parched vistas of gold, ochre and rust, I’ve been keen to get out and about with my camera again.
We returned to the meadow at Knave’s Ash to find its once-fountainous grasses scythed to the ground, but around its edges long drifts of bone-white stems topped by aureate plumes, the bronze fossils of umbellifers, the chocolatey flower spikes of dock leaves, and smatterings of yellow daisies. A whole world of sepia and antique gold.