Final Major Project
Back to the Land
“When this silly war is over, oh how happy I shall be. When I get my civvy clothes on, no more land army for me. No more digging up potatoes, no more threshing out the corn. We will make that bossy foreman regret the day he was born.”
The women’s land army is associated as the ‘forgotten army’. We over look that thousands of women spend years harvesting and bringing in food for Britain when it was going through both World War I and II. Women were required to do the work that men would be carrying out; ploughing the fields, working the farming machinery, threshing the hay and tending to the livestock are just some examples. In 1917 there were 20,000 women working on the land and in 1944 there were 80,000 women who had joined up to form the women’s land army. This body of work intends to explore the life style and conditions that these women choose to work in. It explores how their bodies, spirits and energy were used to help the country pull through and win the war. But it also asks the questions of, would we have won the war without the women’s land army? Why are they considered the ‘forgotten army’? And how did the roll of a land girl change the way that women were accepted?
Although the asset of steam is now a movement of the past, it is still widely respected and treasured. Britain was one of the first countries to experience the power of the Industrial Revolution and steam was quickly adapted for locomotives, stationary and beam engines. This body of work has been created from three different locations, Didcot Railway Centre, Hook Norton Brewery and Crofton Mill. Together they portray a small glimpse into some of the individuals who share a passion for restoring and preserving this historical relationship that Britain has with stream.
My photographic stills take a traditional approach to documenting people who work with steam engines. They may not be rich in focus or compositionally perfect, but they simply present to you a straight documentation of what was happening.
My video piece focuses around the concept that steam is still alive. The video brings together a pulse that drives this body of work, and also illustrates the repetitive movement that the workers have with the machinery.
To all of the staff and volunteers at Didcot Railway Centre, Crofton Mill and Hook Norton Brewery,
Thank you for all of the help, advice and experiences you have allowed me to obtain for this body of work, it shall not be forgotten.
Through The Lens: Oxfordshire and the First World War
“Oxford Images of World War One invites volunteers age 16-25 to turn the clock back 100 years and imagine what life was like for young people in the city and county during the Great War. The outcome will lead to a major outdoor photographic exhibition at the Oxford Castle Quarter in May 2016. Under the guidance of heritage professionals, our volunteers are exploring local archives, museums and online collections and considering traditional and innovative research methods. Our volunteers’ mission is to interpret the story of young people living in the time of the Great War through photography and text. Mentoring sessions with professionals will help guide their work. In 2016 we will run training sessions on stills photography and exhibitions to arm ourselves with tools to publicly present our work to a professional standard. The project seeks to introduce a new generation to this aspect of wartime history, and to keep the legacy, memory and significance of the Great War alive for the younger generation.” Ameneh Enayat – Project Leader.