Landscapes at Noon was produced as part of a commission and three-month residency in 2021 at the National Trust Flatford in Suffolk.
It was created, in collaboration with Laurence Harding, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of John Constable’s iconic painting The Hay Wain.

Commissioned by the Essex Cultural Diversity Project, in partnership with the National Trust, and supported by Arts Council England.
About Landscapes at Noon

The commissioned work consists of an installation of large scale, hand printed cyanotype silk panels showing various viewpoints of ‘The Hay Wain’ view today, as a play on the notion that this iconic painting has been reproduced in multiple ways over the last 200 years. It investigates themes of light and shadow, and reflects on memory, time and the spirit of place - all important elements in Constable's paintings. The title of the work (and associated exhibitions) is a nod to Constable’s The Hay Wain, originally called Landscape: Noon, and also the photographic process used, which requires strong sunlight and the midday sun.

The original installation was shown during the autumn of 2021, in the Granary building at Flatford - once owned by the Constable family and where we had set up our work studio during the commission period. It consisted of 14 large scale cyanotypes handprinted on silk, hung from the ceiling. We invited the public to submit digital photographs of the modern day view and six images were selected to print alongside six of our own to create this collaborative installation. The majority of the images were taken using an iPhone or smartphone.

To produce the work, the silk panels were hand-coated with cyanotype emulsion to make them light sensitive. Large-scale negatives of each image were created and placed on the silk, then contact printed by exposing them to sunlight to create the prints. They were made in the Granary garden at noon, between August and October 2021 – reflecting the weather condition of the day – and washed and fixed using water from the River Stour, which runs through Flatford.

The floating silk panels are reminiscent of the emulsion layer of early glass plate photographs, and the 3D-like effect that emerges when two prints are hung together being a reminder of early stereographs. As light seeps through the panels or shadows emerge, new perspectives and details appear and disappear, reflecting the transient nature of the landscape and memories that come and go.

As part of the commission, and to engage visitors to Flatford with the creative process and mark the anniversary of The Hay Wain, we also organised a series of 12 pop up workshops over the summer of 2021. Here visitors could make a cyanotype postcard to take home with them, a memory of the day. We also invited visitors to collaborate with us in making some large cyanotype nature prints on fabric, which were displayed as part of the commission exhibition in 2021, and again in our follow up exhibition at Flatford in 2022.
During the commission exhibition in 2021 we produced a large scale lumen print using one of the negatives, which was displayed in the Granary and contact printed onto vintage silver gelatin paper. It was a long exposure, over the full duration of the exhibition. The print was then fixed and shown at Flatford in 2022; a second, unfixed lumen print was also created.
Further information:
To view the ECDP announcement click here.
To view the National Trust announcement click here.
To view a video commissioned by the National Trust about the project click here.
To view ITV Anglia's news piece click here.