Hay Wain 200: A Bigger Canvas

The Hay Wain view at Flatford

Discover how we celebrated the 200th anniversary of ‘The Hay Wain’, one of John Constable’s most celebrated pieces.

Over the summer months in 2021 photographic artists Liz Harrington and Laurence Harding have been working at Flatford to create an immersive and interactive installation, exploring the parallels between photography and painting and celebrating the idyllic views that inspired Constable. The finished piece, made up of floor to ceiling cyanotype (a photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints) panels inspired by the landscape, was displayed in The Granary at Flatford alongside photographs taken using pinhole cameras and smaller pieces created using a range of other historical and experimental photographic techniques. 

Visitors and local community groups were able to participate by working with the artists at pop-up workshops to have a go at photographic techniques, contributing to the exhibition.

Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill
Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill
Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill
Cyanotype print of The Hay Wain view, created by artists Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington
A cyanotype print of The Hay Wain view, created by artists Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington
Cyanotype print of The Hay Wain view, created by artists Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington
Cyanotype print process of The Hay Wain view

What's a cyanotype?

Cyanotype is one of the earliest photographic processes, invented in 1842 by Sir John Herschel. It is an iron-based process, which is safe to use, and by placing objects or negatives on top of cyanotype coated materials and exposing to sunlight, blue tinted images can be created.