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GALLERY: Rural photos "particularly poignant" amid farm closures

GALLERY: Rural photos

Wednesday 21 September 2022

GALLERY: Rural photos "particularly poignant" amid farm closures

Wednesday 21 September 2022

A rarely-seen private collection of pictures celebrating rural life in Jersey from the 1960s through to the 1990s is going on public show today.

The images are contained in the private archive of a local grower, and former President of the Société Jersiaise, Maurice Richardson, who donated them to the Société's archive on his death earlier this year.

They have been collated into a 'photo-zine' entitled 'Agriculture - looking back to go forward', which is the fifth in a series produced by Éditions Emile (ED.EM). 


Pictured: Thrashing at Oaklands, St. Lawrence, November 1978. (Maurice Richardson/Société Jersiaise)

Editors Patrick Cahill and Martin Toft commented: "Agriculture was a subject close to Maurice, himself a small-scale grower, and from a line of farmers stretching back over 400 years. The photographs show an industry in transition but also an awareness and desire to keep traditional practices alive.

"The photographs are particularly poignant considering how many farms have closed during the period Maurice was active and since these images were made."

Each issue of ED.EM. takes a fresh look at a specific collection within the archive, which contains over 100,000 images dating from the mid-1840s to the present day and is the principal Jersey collection of nineteenth and early twentieth century photography.


Pictured: Beekeepers meeting, St. John, July 1992. (Maurice Richardson/Société Jersiaise)

India Hamilton who is the co-founder of sustainable food cooperative SCOOP and Jersey Food Systems Lab, wrote the text for the 'photo-zine'.

"...What is important is the balance of change, and the understanding that we don’t need to get fixated on any one product, or industry," she commented.

"Every country in the world is being asked to readdress its food security, farmers are being asked to change their techniques and the environment is calling to be counted."


Pictured: Jack Richardson at Les Jardins, St. Mary, November 1983.

The photozine will be launched at 14:00 today during the Jersey Festival of Words at Jersey Library.

The launch will include a panel discussion on the past, present and future of agriculture in Jersey, chaired by Ms Hamilton.

Economic Development Minister Deputy Kirsten Morel will be introducing the discussion, which will include James Godfrey (CEO Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society), Aaron Le Couteur (sheep farmer and conservation grazier) and Kaspar Wimberley (Director and Co-founder of SCOOP).


Pictured: Ferreting for rabbits, c. 1990.

Today's event is free, with registration here, and you can buy a copy of ED.EM.05 here.


More photographs by Maurice Richardson, with thanks to the Société Jersiaise Photographic Archive for sharing...

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