PROJECTS: CHRISTMAS TURKEY
In December 2010 just before all the snow set in, I began photographing the turkeys at a nearby Farm, in Dartmoor National Park, as they were being prepared for sale at Christmas. People worked in freezing conditions, plucking and drawing by hand, with such attention to detail and care that I found it hard to believe that the individual bird I was looking at was headed for a butcher's cold shelf - end user unkown, and not a jewel encrusted platter on a table for the gods. It was a great surprise to me just how much work goes in to preparing a single turkey for someone's Christmas dinner. And a relief to know that there are such ethically-minded farmers.
I returned the following Spring to photograph the day old chicks arriving at the farm. I have photographed the turkeys every few years.
In November 2021 our dear friend, the farm owner Mike, died tragically just before the start of 'Turkey Time' on the farm - the lead up to Christmas. I watched as his entire family pulled together, amidst grief, to make things work and reach the final deadlines when silence falls once more in the turkey sheds and fields. I feel priveleged to know this extraordinary family. I dedicate this collection of images to the memory of Mike Malseed.