Harvest is a site-specific intervention on farmland beneath Box Hill during September 2018. In developing this project, Mary Branson explored the relationship of the local farming community to the land, the processes and rituals of harvest time and the impact of the changing climate on their work. Harvest is an illuminated artwork highlighting some of the unseen work that goes into shaping the landscape that is often taken for granted.
Our changing climate has had a particularly damaging result on farming this year with the drought causing a much reduced crop of hay at Box Hill Farm. Mary Branson’s installation features sixty six ‘invisible’ bales – illuminated outlines, the dimensions of hay bales, arranged in the same formation used in farming across the lower field.
‘It’s a rare privilege to be able to create an art work for such a beautiful location as Lower Box Hill Farm. Observing the fields harvest cycle has been a real eye opener, seeing the delicate balance faced each season with the increasingly extreme weather conditions. This is the story that has shaped my installation’.
– Mary Branson, 2018.
Engaging with groups of different ages, Mary gave an insight into this hidden work that takes place in our landscape as well as sharing her own processes as an artist. Two school groups participated in the Arts Award qualification through her project involving learning new creative skills, visiting the artwork and writing about it.
The piece culminated in a community celebration of the landscape at Box Hill viewpoint on the 29th September 2018. The celebratory event included hand-held lanterns and traditional singing from community choirs and a special calling event led by artist Alison Carlier from artwork to viewpoint and back.
The hay bales were lit up from 15th-29th September 2018 dusk until 10pm every Saturday and Sunday.
With thanks for additional support from:
Mary Branson specialises in creating large scale installations, using sculpture, light and sound. By experimenting with scale, light and multiplicity, she forms new environments that question the existing polemics of art and the space it inhabits. Many of her installations are temporary and encompass elements of performance, photography, film and sound. In 2014, Mary became Artist in Residence at the Houses of Parliament, researching archives of the Suffrage movement, and producing New Dawn artwork for the Palace of Westminster was unveiled on June 7th, 2016.