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Dorset Man


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Dorset Man is a rural arts project documenting men’s working lives within the ‘Chalk and Cheese’ area of Dorset. Here you will find blacksmiths, thatchers, fishermen, shepherds, sheep shearers, foresters, hurdlemakers, bakers, butchers, cheese makers, publicans, millers, scrap dealers, charcoal burners, grave diggers, bee-keepers, rat catchers and swill men. They live and work in an area stretching from Thorncombe and Monkton Wyld in the west of the county, to Farnham, Cann Common and Melbury Abbas in the east.

This project was masterminded by James Crowden, a local poet and historian who has worked here for 26 years. He collaborated with West Dorset photographer George Wright, whose work has appeared in books and magazines worldwide and is part of the National Portrait Gallery’s permanent collection. Together, Crowden and Wright have created an invaluable historical record of how rural life has changed since the 1900s. Crowden made digital recordings of the men talking about their lives while Wright photographed them on medium format film. The result shows a landscape rich in stories and depicts a rural way of life sure to inspire a new generation interested in local food and indigenous craft skills.

Dorset Man was funded by the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, and ‘Chalk and Cheese,’ a UK LEADER+ funding initiative supporting sustainable development in Dorset’s rural heartland.

Additional information

Weight 0.7 kg
Dimensions 21 × 23 × 2 cm


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