Landscape, its nature gives such wonderful delight, and so many artists are drawn to try to capture spirit of place. One artist who has succeeded absolutely for me is Anita Reynolds, who brings immediately to mind the feelings I have experienced when in the different parts of the South Western peninsula of England.
This afternoon I completed my first (I'm sure of many) reading of her recently published Outline South West - the story and the resulting art of her walk round the 630 miles of the South West Coast Path.
The art - the prints she has made of this extraordinary exercise I find stunningly evocative, more alive than most photographs, and beautiful - inspiring too, spurring me to try to achieve. The book is a splendid account of the walks, the difficulties and the achievements, with descriptions of how she worked, as well as reproductions of all the prints - one per day as well as extra monoprints, photographs of details, and a lovely photo of her collection of pebbles, rocks, and oddments - including 30 Namibian dollars in notes (!)- she picked up each day on her way round.
And then to top it all, the book also includes poetry inspired also by the words - one per day that Anita Reynolds distilled from the experience. The poem which seems to me to resonate so closely with the work and the book is by Ian Royce Chamberlain:
A chronicle of wind and foxglove
wild garlic valleys, mud and jackdaw
mist off the sea
the sticks of fishermen
in the paragraphs of surf
cormorants propped like question marks
on semi-colon rocks
beneath a lighthouse exclamation
dashes slitting rain from sunshine
buttercups and oysters
campion, thrift and gorse
and larks as commas
slipped in breathless sentences
on a woven paper sky
apostrophes of black-backed gulls
bracketed with stacks of slate
in a blur of headland squall
where a hatch of undercliff becomes
a pencilled underlining
to a signature of scratch.
Hawthorn, Sorrel & Campions Monotype (All images from Anita Reynolds' website.)I found this to be a brilliant book over and above the thoroughly splendid art - it is available through Anita Reynolds' website.