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From as far back as I can remember, tractors have been a ubiquitous presence in my life. Although I chose not to follow in the farming family tradition, and dad left farming in the mid-80s, my farming childhood provided the foundations of my life.
These three old Fordsons lay quietly rusting in my home village of Bowerchalke, not far from our old farm. Unused and forgotten, they've endured unloved under the trees on an overgrown river bank. Recently the tractors were removed, nearly half a century of English weather had given the machines a unique patina. The story of these machines is now told in rust, dents and missing panels. It seemed to me that these tractors, once great sculptures of the landscape, were now, in turn, sculptured themselves by the wind and rain from that same landscape. There was a comfort and elation when perched twenty feet directly over these old machines, shooting from a bird's-eye view, the scale is somehow abstractly distorted, they looked like the toy tractors of my childhood. The symmetry and simplicity of design was all so gloriously obvious at this angle, their textural history and geography mapped out before me. The devastating effect of the relentless elements on even the most robust of machines gave them a fragile demeanour. The weather has muted the colours of their paintwork and the years have taken their toll yet these machines endure to inform and educate us of our not so long ago agricultural past.