Rurality Re-Imagined

Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers and Wild Things

Ben Stringer





Rurality Re-imagined is divided into four loosely themed sections: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers, and Wild Things with each comprised of five or six diverse chapters. In the section on Villagers, rural communities are considered as assemblages and spaces of vernacularity, as dark settings for TV dramas, new wave photography, and as sites for community arts projects.

The Farmer’s section critically re-invigorates the historical fascination with peasantry and farming in the arts through essays, painting, and photography that collectively place the agency of the artist under as much scrutiny as images of agricultural space and people. Stereotypically, the word ‘Wanderers’ conjures images of gypsy caravans, or country ramblers, but Rurality Re-imagined stretches the label to include not only the traditional migrations of reindeer herds, but also that of the motorway driver, and migrations of cultural forms as well, such as the hip hop clubs of New York to the fields of rural Devon. In the essays and images about Wild Things, wilderness emerges as a highly contested cultural terrain far from any state of purity as it manifests itself in the behaviour of people, flora, and fauna in cultivated and uncultivated landscapes and parks.


8" x 10" Portrait
Rights world: 

Katy Beinart (artist, writer and lecturer) Brighton UK

John Brennan (architect, lecturer) Edinburgh UK

Kate Corder (artist, lecturer)Reading UK

Julie Crawshaw (fine arts researcher) Newcastle UK

Adam Evans (architect, historian) Preston UK

Anna Fox (photographer, professor) Farnham UK

Kate Genever (farmer, artist) Uffington UK

Rupert Griffiths / Lia Wei (geographer / archaeologist, artist) London UK

Sigrid Holmwood (artist) London UK

Jessica Lee (journalist) London UK

Christine Mackey (artist) Manorhamilton, Ireland

Jane McAllister (architect, lecturer) London UK

Lala Meredith-Vula (photographer, lecturer) Leicester UK

Malcolm Miles (art historian) Totnes UK

Jonathan Mosley / Sophie Warren (architect, lecturer / artist)

Eric Oskey (architect, lecturer) Philadelphia USA

Rosemary McGoldrick (artist, lecturer) London UK

Dierdre O’Mahoney (artist, academic)

Esther Peeren (media studies lecturer) Amsterdam Netherlands

Ben Pitcher (sociologist, lecturer) London UK

Wood Roberdeau (lecturer in visual culture) London UK

Sara Serrão (artist) Portugal

Rosemary Shirley (art historian) Manchester UK

Ben Stringer (lecturer in architecture) London

Kjerstin Uhre (architect, lecturer) Oslo Norway

Marcel Vellinga (anthropologist) Oxford UK

Michael Woods (geographer, professor) Aberystwyth UK

About the author: 

Ben Stringer teaches architecture design and history and theory at the University of Westminster, London, where he leads a Masters design studio. He is also a trustee of the Oxford City Farm.