Mel McLoughlin ARPS

Statement of Intent

Ploughing matches are a key feature of life in rural farming communities, marking the changes of season from winter to spring and summer to autumn. Over the course of a year I photographed a variety of matches within a 30 mile radius of my home with the intention of telling the story of a typical match. I set out to document the events themselves and the tractors, horses and equipment used, as well as the people involved – the competitors, the judges, the spectators and the all important farm dogs. I feel the black and white treatment helps to convey the harshness of the farmers’ lives, their battles with the elements and the historic nature of some of the equipment used, the principles of which haven’t changed for centuries