Oliver Udy & Colin Robins
The Anthology of Rural Life is an ongoing photographic project by Oliver Udy and Colin Robins. A photographic project whose intentions are to produce an archive of material that reveals and documents continuities and shifts in patterns of rural life.
Oliver and Colin are creating new work in the village and civic parish of Meriden, Warwickshire, recognised geographically as the centre of England. The places they visit and the people they meet who live within the rural community represent aspects of contemporary rural society where the economic, social and cultural changes to the nature of work mean that traditional ways of life in the countryside are slowly evolving. The duo are making a new series of images in the West Midlands to add to previous studies made across different areas of Europe. This will extend the body of work in terms of location, but also offer a chance to engage with particular aspects of the region, including the contemporary representation of the rural idyll in a contemporary multi-cultural, digital society. The project is centred on the production of a photographic document of individuals, social groups and their rural contexts. The work will reflect differing facets of rural life and take account of both its traditional and contemporary aspects.
The project as a whole explores a sense of individual and collective experience set within shifting economic, social and cultural conditions. The people and the places in the images represent contemporary rural societies, where, for example, changes to the nature of work, and the increasing economic importance of leisure, culture and the arts mean that traditional ways of life are slowly evolving.
Image Credit: The Anthology Of Rural Life, by Oliver Udy & Colin Robins.