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The First Ingredient is Hay (Posted On: Monday, August 17, 2015)

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The beauty and science of preserving forage grasses is depicted in an exhibit opening on September 1st in the Hallway Gallery, 65 Simcoe St., Collingwood.

Local documentary photographer Jim Stacey has assembled a collection of images which along with text panels explain our relationship with a much overlooked agricultural ingredient - hay. "Many people see a hayfield is an unremarkable piece of the rural landscape", says Stacey, "but in fact it is what keeps our beef, dairy cows, sheep, goats and horses, fed all winter. That's over seven million animals across Canada."

Stacey's photos follow hay through the seasons as it grows, is cut, baled, stored and finally fed. "There's beauty in it - especially when you have a sense of the process." This project is both an homage to all the farmers across the country and an educational project for city-folk.  "We're so close to the land here in Collingwood, and yet I don't think we give the land or the farmers that work it that much thought" he says.

The exhibition which includes over thirty pieces can be viewed from 8:00 am to 6:00 pm and will remain in the gallery from September 1 until October 31st .

Jim Stacey has been part of the Collingwood arts community for the past ten years as an exhibiting artist, gallery operator and volunteer and is this year's Chair of the Creemore Festival of the arts.

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