THE BRIGHT FIELDS
landscape photography and poetry, ongoing
shot on an iPhone SE and a Nikon D90
exhibiting weekly on Instagram @thebrightfields #PhotoPsalter
In 2019, a dog, closely followed by a pandemic the following year, changed my life. So many tectonic things happened, for everyone, and corresponding shifts of perspective continue to change us in ways we don’t yet realise. The Bright Fields became my own urgent search for a new visual rootedness in place and the land, as I found myself walking, tramping, and squelching through Wiltshire. The photographs take in Cotswold countryside, farming practices, biodiversity, and the occasional glimpse of Gus the black labrador with my children. I’m following the Bristol Avon Catchment, an area of land defined by the River Avon from mouth (having lived in Bristol for over 20 years), upstream to brook (Lacock), to source (near Sherston, where I now live).
Every Friday, an image from this project is being published on Instagram and Twitter, along with a long-form poem that I am writing as I go. This is my photographic psalter: Hebrew poetry in the Psalms is emphatic, prayerful, direct, yet also balanced and sure-footed. I find hooks in the language, and compose my own song about the natural world. And, inspired by The Bristol Psalter, I am embellishing my own illuminated manuscript with the colour of geography and a world on fire.
I am St Frances of Assisi. I will talk to the birds and the leaves because they are true. These notes will sing the fields because there is no other song. I don’t want there to be another song. Only this thing is real, this river this soil, these Avon veins this Cotswold heart. Listen, all you that hear.