Caught by the River

Daughters of the Soil

13th August 2022

Daughters of the Soil — an exhibition of photographs by the award-winning documentary photographer Joanne Coates, depicting the lives of women in agriculture across Northumberland and the Scottish Borders — opens today at Vane Gallery, Gateshead.

This exhibition is the culmination of 12 months of work researching gender and agriculture in Northumberland and the Scottish borders. Daughters of the Soil was launched at the Gymnasium Gallery, Berwick-upon-Tweed in April this year and this new iteration at Vane includes a sound installation developed in collaboration with Scottish composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Erland Cooper, of which Joanne writes: ‘The sound piece is field recordings made with the women farmers. I would send selected pieces to Erland along the way. We had several Zoom calls and I would send photographs as I made them for him to look at. Erland then made a sound response.’ 

Women make up 15% of the farming industry in the UK, and 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. Daughters of the Soil explores questions around land inheritance, farming stereotypes and the history around who works the land.

Daughters of the Soil is open Wednesday to Saturday, 12-5pm, until 3rd September at Vane Gallery, Orbis Community, 65 High Street, Gateshead, NE8 2AP, where a limited edition book is also available to purchase. More information available here.