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. 

" We are thrilled and honoured to have been selected for this exciting commission in celebration of the 200-year anniversary of Constable’s ‘The Hay Wain’... We are really looking forward to working with the ECDP and National Trust over the next few months, as well as engaging with visitors to the site, offering an alternative way to interact with Constable’s work and the location in an accessible, fun and creative way."
- Laurence Harding and Liz Harrington

Visitors and local community groups will be able to participate in the creation of the final piece, 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.

We’ll be updating this page as the project evolves, keep an eye out here to find out how you can get involved and for dates of the pop-up workshops with the artists. 

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.