/17 Food

Justin Partyka

Field Work

I make photographs to know the place I am from. This is the rural agricultural region of East Anglia. The land here has been farmed for over 4,000 years. It is where the Romans grew their wheat and barley, and where a culture of small-scale family-owned agrarian farms once prospered, continuing a tradition that goes back to the region’s peasant farmers of the Middle Ages. But now most of these small farms are gone.

In 2001 I set out to discover what was left of the old-ways of East Anglia. I criss-crossed the rural counties of Norfolk and Suffolk exploring the backroads, tracks and the fields with my camera. On my travels I encountered some of the last of the traditional small farms. They are remnants of the old agrarian way of life. These farmers continue to work the fields and grow their crops because it is all that they know. I photographed them for almost ten years and during that time I came to see how man and the land intimately shape each other.