Banner image: Aerial shot of Field of View, by Anne Deeming, part of Creative Folkestone's Salt + Earth festival 2022. Image description can be found at the bottom of the page. Credit: Aerial Photography by James wo & ViDi air.

Listen to an audio description of the artwork:

Anne Deeming has an impressive track record when it comes to creating site-specific installations which, through nuance and clever use of materials, evoke histories and relationships shared between people and place. In one of her largest-scale projects to date, Anne unearths the agricultural heritage of the Kent Downs' undulating landscape. Continue reading to dig deeper into the story behind the work...

Field of View (2022) was part of Creative Folkestone's Salt + Earth festival, 23-25 September.

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Can you tell us about Field of View?

It's a large chalk drawing: two parallel lines extending into the distance. They are directed towards France, towards the Parc Naturel Regional des Caps et Marais d’Opale that shares the same geology as Kent Downs AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty). I wanted people to be able to orientate themselves in the landscape, and to be reminded of past agricultural activities that have left their traces behind.  

How did you make the decision to situate the work on the Hucking Estate?

It only became an option about a month before the festival. It is such a beautiful location. I made a site visit to Hucking Estate and met the Woodland Trust Site Manager, Clive Steward, who shared some of the history of the site and its multiple land uses over the years and showed me tractor tram lines indented in the ground from when the field was used for arable crops. 

The old Drover Road that runs through the estate is another reminder of the layers of history and how all our rural land is managed and developed. All these elements really resonated with my thinking about the work; how I wanted it to indicate direction and also highlight the historical uses of the site.

For the work to fade overtime seemed to fit this context

How does Field of View relate to your wider body of work?

I've made site specific work before, but nothing like this in terms of materials, process, or scale. It was the first time that I’d turned up to site to install a work I hadn’t physically made yet!

By using chalk powder, the work was further tied to the location as there are dene holes onsite, once used to mine chalk to spread on the fields to act as a ground improver. It was important that the work didn't harm the wildlife, and would naturally have its own life span as it gradually washed away. This was partly because I was thinking about creating a work with the minimum of material needed and no waste, but also that the temporary nature of the method and material seemed to chime with the ever changing use of the site. And that that change is constant through weather, erosion, and human intervention. For the work to fade overtime seemed to fit this context.

Aerial photograph of Annes artwork in its landscape. A full description is available on the blog page.Credit: Aerial Photography by James wo & ViDi air.

Has this project triggered any new directions or plans for your practice?

I think I'd like to do more site specific, publicly accessible work, at scale. I’ve definitely got ambitions for larger land art - I really love working outside and making work that has a particular relationship to its site and creating work that can be read on different levels with multiple references. 

The key in all of this is a continued exploration of how to create without waste and the valuing of materials and their environmental impact. Ideas I’m sure I will keep wrestling with!

Visit Anne's artist profile Read our previous chat with Anne

Banner image description: Aerial photograph of a landscape artwork by Anne Deeming. This artwork is a temporary chalk drawing designed to fade naturally in tune with the elements. 

The land is part of the Huckings Estate in Kent, an area characterised by areas of ancient woodland set in the rolling Weald countryside. The location selected by the artist is open farmland, with a large, almost triangular area of pasture bordered by patches of rough wild grass, bushes and scrub, which comes in variegated crops of dark green and woody shades. 

Running down the steeply sloping pasture, on a very deep gradient for arable land, are two long parallel lines, laid down by the careful application of powdered chalk solution, echoing the geology of much of the Weald and south coast.  

The white lines, as clean in design as railway tracks, yet in their nature more resembling giant scratches, lie in stark contrast to the green and rugged contours of the landscape, the rambling surroundings bearing the faint marks of exposed chalk and grassy divots, and the deep cutting of tractors; as well as old footpaths and trails, such as the drovers road, the old road on which cattle were driven to market. 

Walking at a short distance around the artwork, touring around the grassy slope, we pass the occasional crop of trees enclosed by low frameworks of timber beams, set up to protect them. From one side they resemble the gate stiles that mark the entrance to nearby roads.