We recently sponsored an important and meaningful project, Take One a Day – a photography exhibition at Spout Yard Park Gallery in Louth, dedicated to finding positivity in nature by discovering something beautiful every day.
Created by amateur photographer Paul Gutherson in November 2020, he was compelled to share his pieces through a tragedy that changed him forever, after he unexpectedly discovered a person who had died by suicide during a morning dog walk.
It was on a stretch of the River Lud in Louth that Paul knew very well and had loved since he was a boy. The spot was intrinsically linked to the surrounding landscape he had grown up in, which had shaped him and his relationship with the world.
With the help of counselling, Paul realised he needed to reclaim his natural environment from a place of trauma and shock and use creativity to restore his joy in life. That’s when he began to take one a day; one photograph every day to help him rediscover the beauty of the Lincolnshire landscape. He searched for the positive in the huge skies above the expansive flat fields, on the beaches, along the dykes, and finally, back at the canal. He put these images out on social media every day, and began his healing journey.
Humbled by Paul’s discovery, the locality of the incident and the real mental health challenges that exist in farming communities, we felt inspired to become involved. According to the Office of National Statistics, there were 36 suicides recorded in England and Wales among those working in the farming and agricultural industry in 2021. Meanwhile, 22 farm workers lost their lives in fatal accidents in 2021/22, underlying the need for mental health resources and support.
Supporting Paul’s landscapes at the exhibition will be work from award-winning photographic artist Richard Ansett. Richard, himself a Samaritans volunteer, was invited to Louth to explore the themes through portraiture of local mental health advocates and those suffering from some of the issues raised. A further collection of this work will be unveiled in the zine Man Up.
Paul says: “Sometimes the photograph itself is not that important. It is the purposeful act of seeking something beautiful. Shutting out negative self-talk through the discipline of looking, especially on difficult days, is what becomes important.”
AKP Group’s managing director, Richard Arundel, commented: “We’re driven by people, and as partners to farmers and growers across the country, we are no strangers to the prevalent mental health challenges within farming. It can be an isolating and lonely industry at times, and we are extremely proud to be sponsors of this impactful exhibition and all that it stands for.”