To celebrate finally getting my printing studio working I’m giving away the first of a limited edition, No. 1/10 print of my portrait of the Suffolk Punch champion stallion, Achilles. And I’d like to use the opportunity both to say thank you to the people who follow my daily ramblings and also to raise awareness for @thesuffolkpunchtrust and their important work preserving this precious and threatened rare horse breed that is so deeply embedded in the history of our county, our traditions, the shape of our landscape itself.
My mother worked with, and owned, horses, so I grew up around them in the West Country. Perhaps because of this I had heard of the Suffolk Punch when I was still very young and for many years it was the only thing I knew of the county. So when circumstances brought me to live here, and I decided to make a photographic project with an interest in agriculture, making a portrait of one was obviously a top priority. I was fortunate to get permission to photograph Achilles, the senior stallion at The Suffolk Punch Trust: a former champion and arguably one of the finest examples of the breed in modern times. He is, quite simply, awe-inspiring and I would urge anyone who hasn’t already, to visit the Trust and see him while you can (when circumstances allow - check with them when that will be) I photographed him with Bruce Smith, the former head groom at the Trust when it was the Hollesley Bay Stud. You can read more about Achilles and Bruce on one of my previous journal entries here
For the technically-minded, the photograph was made on 5x4 inch transparency film with an old-fashioned plate camera and then drum-scanned to 100+ MP resolution. The print is made on Epson Ultrasmooth Fine Art paper; a 100% cotton paper which, when used in conjunction with Epson’s K3 pigment inks, offers amongst the most stable photographic prints possible and, as long as it’s kept away from direct sunlight and damp, should last for many, many decades without fading, yellowing or colour-shift. The print is made at the very highest output resolution, but this paper lends images a soft, almost painterly, appearance, which I think suits this one well.
The print is mounted in a recycled frame that was custom made some years back for a print of the same size from my project about development in the deserts of the UAE. This was part of a group exhibition 'Scarcity-Waste’ that toured internationally. The frame is still in good condition but did sustain some minor injuries on it’s travels and so has been refinished with, of course, Bedec black barn paint.
The prize includes delivery by me personally after the end of lockdown, so must be limited to Suffolk residents; please don’t enter if you don’t have a Suffolk delivery address! If you’d like to be included in the draw please just comment ‘yes please’ or words to that effect on my instagram post and I'll assume this is also your confirmation that the delivery address will be in Suffolk. If you’d like to tag someone else who you think might be interested, please go ahead (as long as they also have a Suffolk address!) but it’s not a requirement to enter, and they won’t be entered unless they also say ‘Yes Please!' I’ll get my son to draw a name out of a hat on Sunday morning at 10am and I’ll announce, and direct message, the winner immediately. Best of luck!