I love books which are image heavy. If it’s a book about or by an artist then I also like there to be lots of sketches and preparatory drawings as well as finished pieces. Angie Lewin’s Book “Plants and Places”, with text by Leslie Geddes-Brown, does not disappoint. Her muted tones, pale lilacs and burnt oranges fill the pages and show a huge body of work which is unmistakably stylised.
Originally a sculptor, Lewin moved on to Printmaking and Garden Design, topics which are fused into woodcuts, linocuts and engravings. Similarities in stroke and form flow through each print but each one is pushing deeper into an aesthetic drawn from ’50’s stylisation and back further still to Thomas Bewick and Samuel Palmer.
The book is appropriately sectioned into landscapes; Coast, Woodland and Hedgerow, River and Loch, and so on. The changing landscapes are given the Lewin treatment. Colours are drawn out and amplified and plant and mineral forms are decoded to show the rhythmic patterns of nature.
This is the perfect book for a Sunday afternoon with a cup of tea. As much as I like being out in the wilds of Cornwall, it is comforting to feel the warmth of the sun through the window whilst flicking through the beautiful, tireless efforts of an artist translating the world around them. After absorbing Lewin’s imagery it is difficult not to see aspects of her work in the world around you; in the shooting dandelions and the pom-pom alliums. It provides a welcome respite from computer screens and bustling towns.
I heartily recommend you buy or borrow it.