Photographs by Steve Pyke.
Nazraeli Press, Portland, 2008. 64 pp., 50 duotone illustrations., 9½x12".
The Earthwards pictures started by chance, when Steve Pyke
was watching a gardener at work with his garden fork, and was
struck by its simple beauty. Photographed at Great Dixter in East
Sussex, England – home of the late Christopher Lloyd – garden
tools are presented here as a celebration of the way things wear
and how, over time and with use, they become seemingly “rounder.”
Some of these tools were those used in the actual creation
of the gardens, which were mostly designed by Edwin Lutyens
almost a century ago. Their handles and prongs are beautifully
worn, perfectly in keeping with the hard work and dedication
involved in the making of this universally admired landscape. So
much of what we see in the workplace today is about distancing
ourselves from the end result of our labors; these garden tools,
although depicted on their own, against a pale backdrop, convey
an intense sense of physical engagement. Steve Pyke was born
in England, where he has had a prolific and successful career
working with many of the world’s leading magazines. Our third
book with the artist, Earthwards is published to coincide with an
exhibition of the work at Great Dixter in Winter 2008.
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