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The Crack Magazine

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Beats being stuck in the office…

Joanne Coates’ ‘Daughters of the Soil’ exhibition at Vane explores the role of women in agriculture in Northumberland and the Scottish Borders.

Women make up 15% of the farming industry in the UK. Their contribution is significant but often overlooked, with underlying barriers such as access to land, class, motherhood and lack of clear leadership roles assisting this. Documentary photographer Joanne Coates spent twelve months researching this topic, which has resulted in this illuminating show. “The project offered the opportunity for me to chronicle the lives and stories of these women. In the arts, projects often get made by an outsider about areas, places, spaces and people they want to learn about. Especially in photography, depictions of rurality and gender often come only from outside. As someone who has worked as a farm labourer and worker, who lives in a very rural area with a partner who farms, my work offers a different perspective.”

Daughters of the Soil, 11 August-3 September (Wed-Sat), Vane, Gateshead. vane.org.uk