Rurality Re-imagined is divided into four loosely themed sections: Villagers, Farmers, Wanderers, and Wild Things with each comprised of six diverse chapters.
In the Villagers section, 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 Farmers section critically re-invigorates art’s historical fascination with peasantry and farming through essays, painting, and photography that critique the agency of the artist as much as images of agricultural space and people. Stereotypically, the word Wanderers typically conjures images of gypsy caravans, or country ramblers, but Rurality Re-imagined stretches its scope to mean not only traditional migrations of reindeer herds, or even those of motorway drivers, but also the territorial movements and mutations of cultural forms, such as that of hip hop music as exported from New York housing projects 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 unadulterated purity as it manifests itself in the behaviour of people, flora, and fauna in cultivated and uncultivated landscapes, parks and artists’ studios.