An English Eye

An English Eye:
The Photographs of James Ravilious

Photographs by James Ravilious
Text by Peter Hamilton
Foreword by Alan Bennett

2nd edition, paperback, 120 pp, 113 duotones
ISBN-13: 978-1-905622-14-6, 2007


The Bardwell Press are proud publishers of the second edition of "An English Eye". This book offers the most comprehensive study of the work of James Ravilious (1939-1999), a leading British photographer of rural life and landscape with a uniquely "English eye".

In his foreword, Alan Bennett emphasizes that Ravilious's photographs "are heirs to a very English tradition of photography" associated with the best work of Humphrey Spender and Bert Hardy. The majority were made over a period of twenty years for the Beaford Archive in North Devon, and are lyrical and evocative studies of the people, animals and landscape of the area.

As Alan Bennett notes, "he keeps his distance even in the most intimate scenes that he records and it is this mutual respect of photographer and subject that dignifies both. But do not think that this is nostalgia: the picture he presents of this corner of rural Devon is harsh, unflinching and never picturesque. He photographs hard, ill-paid work, work that has gnarled and twisted the bodies of those who have had it to do and while it is Edward Thomas who is the poet quoted in the text it is the plain speaking of Thomas Hardy that they recall for me, and his humour too."

Based on detailed research by Peter Hamilton, this book introduces Ravilious's work as a fascinating combination of art and social documentary. Supplemented by a detailed account of his working methods and techniques, the book contains 113 duotones of James Ravilious's finest photographs.

James Ravilious; A World in Photographs
A documentary by Anson Hartford on the work of James Ravilious, originally broadcast on BBC4 in November 2007.

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