Silence at Ramscliffe - Foot and Mouth in Devon

Three Articles by Chris Chapman

The completed journal, Silence at Ramscliffe, is now up on Chris' website

MAFF employee moving cattle prior to their slaughter
(Copyright ) Chris Chapman)

The three articles below make for poignant but essential reading for anyone not directly involved and who wants to sense just a little of the tragedy that unfolded for hundreds of people during the foot and mouth crisis of 2001.

All photographs are by the author. (Jan 23. The photos will be added to the articles as soon as possible)

The Western Morning News ran "Silence at Ramscliffe" as a four page spread on January 22nd. There is a 25 minute film called Silence at Ramscliffe, based around the photographs but ending on a positive note when the farm restocked last November ( albeit as a beef and arable holding). This will be shown in late spring on HTV as part of an eight part series.

The articles are published here by kind permission of the author.



Silence at Ramscliffe

(Copyright ) Chris Chapman)

Foot & Mouth in Devon

1. Silence at Ramscliffe

(Copyright ) Chris Chapman)
2. An interview with Philip Lake

3 An interview with Percy and Roma Lake

Jack Lewis and his Greyface Dartmoor sheep, Murchington, 1978 (Copyright ) Chris Chapman)

Chris Chapman's Website

Chris Chapman was born in Wigan, Lancashire in 1952. He began his photographic career at the Newport College of Art in South Wales where he was invited to join the Documentary Photography Course run by the Magnum photographer, David Hurn.

(Copyright ) Chris Chapman)

His photographs reflect traditional skills inherent in the indigenous population and emphasise the accumulation of knowledge associated with age and customs. He has a large archive depicting the culture and character of the region.

His photography has been widely recognised and is represented in both public and private collections, including those of the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the Arts Council of England and the International Center of Photography in New York. His work has been published under various titles, including The Right Side of the Hedge (David & Charles 1977) and Dartmoor: The Threatened Wilderness (Channel 4 Books 1986).

In April 2001 Beaford Arts commissioned Chris to make a photographic record of the effects of Foot and Mouth disease in North Devon. Concentrating on one contiguous farm, Chris made a picture story showing everyday life on a farm through to the day of the cull. The two landscape photographs from this body of work, taken from roads in North Devon, are included in East of Eden, a large-scale exhibition exploring the theme of art, nature and society. (Some sixty artists are involved including John Virtue, Damien Hirst, Andy Goldsworthy, Thomas Joshua Cooper, Rebecca Early and Louise K Wilson. Details from Spacex Gallery on 01392 431786).