United Kingdom

Tessa Bunney



For over 25 years, Tessa Bunney has photographed rural life, working closely with individuals and communities to investigate how the landscape is shaped by humans. From hill farmers near her home in North Yorkshire to Icelandic puffin hunters, from Finnish ice swimmers to Romanian nomadic shepherds her projects reveal the fascinating intricacies of the dependencies between people, work and the land. Tessa recently completed a commission from North East Photography Network (NEPN) about flower farming and technology in Lincolnshire. In early 2020 her exhibition ‘Otherwise Unseen’, bringing together four series which explore various rural communities in Europe and South East Asia, was shown at the Side Gallery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.

Between 2012 and 2016 Tessa was based in Laos where she was working on her long- term project The Corridor of Opportunity which was supported by Arts Council England and undertaking editorial and NGO commissions throughout the Southeast Asia region.

She is currently working with cider makers in Somerset commissioned by the Martin Parr Foundation and Morecambe Bay fishermen.

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The UK is a nation of farmers, of gardeners, of flower lovers and its cut flower industry is worth 2.2 billion pounds a year. Flower farms were once a familiar feature of the British countryside and market gardeners grew flowers among their vegetables. Flower production has always necessarily been linked to transport, and with air shipping came distance. Now we can have any flower at any time of year, flown in from the equator, or hothoused in vast Dutch greenhouses.

Recently a number of smaller British flower farms have sprung up, fuelled in part by the wider, resurgent interest in locally produced, seasonal, sustainably grown produce. They are contributing to a vibrant ‘artisan’ cut-flower industry in the UK. The artist’s project explores this new movement for ‘fair trade in flowers’, a celebration of the domestic growers past and present. The work was produced in collaboration with members of non-profit organisation Flowers from the Farm.


Somewhere in England

These images are Tessa's exploration in England.