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Springlines by Clare Best and Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis

Best and Aytoun-Ellis explore the hidden, watery corners of the English landscape. Springlines places paintings alongside poetry to present a landscape rich in history, culture, wildlife and myth.

“This is a stunningly beautiful and sumptuous collection of original poems and paintings by Aytoun-Ellis and Best, together with specially-commissioned short texts from other contemporary writers such as Robert Macfarlane and Alison Brackenbury, accompanied by a rare and masterful selection of watercolours from 19th century painters, including J.M.W. Turner and John Sell Cotman….This is a book that is serious in its intent and serene in its execution – the result of a powerful communion between poet and artist.” Kay Syrad, The Frogmore Papers

“…an exquisite production, Aytoun-Ellis’s paintings of copses, ponds, snowy hills, and winter trees giving a feeling of austere sumptuousness to Clare’s spare and exact poems.” John O’Donoghue, Viva Brighton

Authors: Clare Best and Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis

Large format paperback with flaps, £20

Available now.


Out of stock

The idea for Springlines came from a walk on the South Downs in the drought of Spring 2012. The poet Clare Best and the artist Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis went in search of pools of water that are concealed, overlooked or hidden. They found places and whole landscapes rich in history, wildlife, culture and myth.

This book presents the work they made about some of those watery places, from dew ponds to ancient wells, clay-pits to furnace ponds, chalk springs to the man-made pools of Glyndebourne.

Mary Anne’s paintings sit with Clare’s poetry, alongside short pieces by other writers, and water subjects drawn and painted by Cotman, Cristall, Edridge, Turner and others, to create a book that approaches some of the hidden corners of English landscape and celebrates the vitality of water.

With contributions from Alison Brackenbury, Laura Coleman, Alexandra Harris, Alexandra Loske, Richard Mabey, Robert Macfarlane, Steve Marshall, Clare Whistler, Tim Wilcox.

Available April 2017

ISBN: 978-1-908213-52-5

Paperback | £20.00

Additional information

Weight450 g
Dimensions220 x 80 x 270 mm


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