Lynn's Object (Brass) from 'The Lie of the Land' by Joanne Coates
This object was chosen by Lynn, a woman that came forward to be part of the project. It is her instrument and part of her identity. The importance of brass bands in the North East and in rural areas affects the history of the area. It is also Lynn's hobby and something that helped her to be herself. All the women that came forward self-identified as working class. Each woman I worked with chose an object to be photographed that represented them in some way.
The Lie of the Land unravels the social histories of the countryside in the Yorkshire Dales and the northeast of England. The stories of women and class in this area has been long forgotten or never told. The series depicts twelve women who identify as working-class – self-defined as managers, matriarchs, multitaskers, miner’s daughters, milkers, and mams – all living and working in rural environments. The work looks at the lasting effect of the systemic damage to working-class communities throughout history, considering the sense of place, power structures, identity and community. The Lie of the Land was originally commissioned through the Jerwood/Photoworks Awards, and more about the project can be seen and read in this feature in VICE.
The Lie of the Land is currently on show as a commissioned collage at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, with thanks to the Fitzhugh Archive in Teesdale who helped sourcing archival maps of villages from the 1800s to the present.
Joanne Coates is an artist and photographer based between Yorkshire and County Durham. She is interested in hidden histories, rurality and class. Her practice is embedded in the working-class communities she photographs, working closely and collaboratively with her subjects to investigate the crossover between power, hidden histories and rural life. Joanne was the joint winner of the Jerwood / Photoworks Award 4, and her approach can be seen in commissions for BBC, Vice, The Guardian, Bloomberg Businessweek, Insider, The FT, The Telegraph, and more. Her work has been exhibited both in the UK and internationally and is held in the permanent collection of MIMA.
See more work by Joanne Coates