Somewhere along the sparse fields of rural Britain a rogue figure trudges his way through the countryside…
Having set out on the excursion unaccompanied, his is a solitary quest for an even more solitary figure. For Colin Garratt, time is not on his side. With modernity and development further encroaching on itʼs quarters, the scarecrow is becoming more evanescent and elusive.
With this in mind, Colinʼs documentation of scarecrows may well be the largest collection in the world.
As an archivist, artist and avid trainspotter he has made it his personal crusade to encapsulate the scarecrow in itʼs natural environment and frame it for subsequent generations; who, congruous in nature, upon seeing these humanlike bundles of hay feel something visceral, eery, intangible.
His collection of works are the product of hundreds of hours of dedicated field trips across marginalised rural areas… a time capsule of the vanishing agricultural landscape. Documenting a nearly forgotten tradition from itʼs pagan roots, Colin Garratt has witnessed a steep decline in these enigmatic deterrents over recent decades. His motivation to photograph the scarecrow is evident in his words:
ʻIt needed to be done. Theyʼre a part of our culture, and I hope that the pictures will not only live beyond my lifetime, but will be of interest and value and give pleasure to many other people who unfortunately were born too late to see the magical scarecrow…’
In many ways his array of work is fitting for the gallery and modern art movements. Artistic in itʼs framing and subject to diverse interpretation from anotherʼs viewpoint, his photography is a combination of close-ups or portraits, and wide snaps of the scarecrow standing faraway and alone on the horizon.
The result is a clever juxtaposition of the animated and lifeless… of the eery and heartwarming.
This coming March signifies a new chapter. For with the Spring comes new growth and light. In conjunction with the curation of Alex Sebley and Julia Laird, the first exhibition of Colin Garrattʼs scarecrow collection will be coming to London.
Showcasing original prints and large framed pictures from his extensive collection, the event is open to everyone and is free to attend. Various works, signed prints, posters and even Mr Garrattʼs book on the scarecrow will be available at the exhibition. A chance to experience for ourselves the artistic wonder and traditional folklore of a not-too distant Britain.
ʻThe Scarecrow Exhibitionʼ 12 – 7pm March 25th – 28th 2016 Geddes Gallery 26 Caledonian Road N1 9DU
(Article written for Colin Garrett’s Scarecrow Art Exhibition, March 2016)