Hay Wain 200: A Bigger Canvas

The Hay Wain view at Flatford

Join us this summer as we celebrate the 200th anniversary of ‘The Hay Wain’, one of John Constable’s most celebrated pieces.

We’re working in partnership with Essex Cultural Diversity Project, commissioning a creative project to develop a piece that celebrates the anniversary and connects people with Constable and the Dedham Vale countryside. We’re thrilled to announce the successful artists as Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington, photographic artists specialising in experimental and historic photography processes. 

Over the summer months, the artists will be working at Flatford to create an immersive and interactive installation that explores the parallels between photography and painting and celebrates the idyllic views that inspired Constable. The finished piece which will evolve over the coming months will be made up of floor to ceiling cyanotype (a photographic printing process that produces cyan-blue prints) panels inspired by the landscape, photographs taken using pinhole cameras and smaller pieces created using a range of other historical and experimental photographic techniques. 

Visitors and local community groups will be able to participate by working with the artists at pop-up workshops to have a go at photographic techniques and contribute to the exhibition. Later on this year, the collaboratively created final piece will be on display in The Granary exhibition space at Flatford.

How to get involved

• Take a photograph of ‘The Hay Wain’ view by Flatford Mill and post your image on Instagram, Facebook and/or Twitter – making sure you add the hashtag  #haywain200

Liz and Laurence will be selecting some of the submitted images and, subject to permission, will use to create a large cyanotype panel, which will feature as part of the final installation.

• Join the artists in making a large scale collaborative photographic based nature print in the Granary Gardens on selected dates*

• Participate in one of our free, short pop-up workshops 

Pop-up workshops

Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill
Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill
Creating cyanotype prints at Flatford Mill

Have a go at historic photography processes and create your own cyanotype postcard print to take home. Artists Liz and Laurence will be offering free workshops at the Hay Wain view by Flatford Mill on selected dates. All ages are welcome and the activity takes around 5-10 minutes to complete. 

Workshop Dates:

Saturday 11th September

Sunday 12th September

Workshop times vary depending on weather and the artists work on the day. If you're interested in taking part, please speak to our welcome team in the car park hut, who will be able to tell you what time workshops will be taking place. 

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.