Why creatives are swapping metropolis life for the countryside

We speak to two creatives, who escaped the daily grind of cities for a slower pace of life, about how moving has influenced their practice

The mass exodus of creative minds from big cities isn’t a new phenomenon. While, at one time, the epicentre of the creative industries was firmly rooted in urban life, increasingly unaffordable house prices and an ability to work from anywhere have prompted many creatives to up sticks to the countryside, or at least to more provincial towns and cities.

The shockwave of the pandemic has only enticed more people away from big urban centres over the last couple of years, with PWC’s 2021 UK Economic Outlook reporting that it has “fundamentally changed the way we view cities”, and predicting that London’s population would decline for the first time in the 21st century as people continue to move out.

Top and above: Blow Up, a collaboration between photographer Kerry J Dean and designer San Kim

The appeal of a slower pace of life has even lured away some of the most diehard city-dwelling creatives, among them photographer Kerry J Dean. While her work is often shot in the lonely isolation of remote locations, such as her ongoing Mongolia-based project Observations and Orchestrations, the imagemaker’s formative years were centred around studying, assisting and living in London, where she eared her stripes working with everyone from i-D Magazine to Selfridges.

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