Kevin Crossley-Holland and Andrew Rafferty
Review Rob Ixer
Terse, heightened prose relates a set of nested journeys: a Beaker chief to his death and hinted excarnation, his daughter with his body to death-rites at Woodhenge, and the poet’s pilgrimage from his Cotswold heimat to Holme-next-the-Sea on the East Anglian coast. The word-crammed text, with a nod to Old English rhythms and cadences, is opposed by full-page, highly impressionistic/semi-figurative photographs, many within a restricted colour palette, that progressively travel mono-tonally towards a final, almost blank, shrouded canvas.
Although this can be taken as a 15-minute read, like most serious art, it is personal (once or twice intrusively so) and words and images repay – increasingly languid – repetition and closer inspection. Travel slowly, hawk-eyed, through this volume. (A dialect dictionary and the short afterword’s explanatory background and black-and-white images of Seahenge are of great assistance, increasing the book’s depth.) For the price of a couple of coffees and a packet of Hobnobs, this slim, deceptively slight, decorative, flamboyantly restrained landscape book is worth finding some table room for.