Between Folds / British Scenery

Material: British Scenery - Illustrating The Ports, Harbours & Watering Places of Great Britain, Continued by W. H. Bartlett; circa 1829-1832.
135 x 135 cm.
2011

As Britain is an island, water has supported, fed and surrounded the land. Embodying this complete circle, the illustrations of Ports, Harbours and Watering Places are cyclical, leading into one another as life is lived, passed on and evolves. Each page is a portal into the significance of water in the 1800s: the great architecture of the spa towns, triumphant in their healing powers; the livelihoods of fishing boats; the crashing and enticing waves of voyage and exploration; the beauty of the cliffs and shores of England. Swollen bellies of galleons await their crew and captain; turrets of masts line the shores as forests of conquest; the crown of a paddle-steamer smokes of industry; and a ship’s tender quietly fights a near-horizontal wave, epitomising man’s long struggle to tame the seas. Families picnic on riverbanks while famers build mighty hay bales, and the gentry walk, smartly dressed, on the roads rich with trade.