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The idea for Springlines came from a walk on the South Downs in the drought of spring 2012. Starting that day, Clare and Mary Anne went in search of bodies of water that are concealed, forgotten or overlooked. They found places rich in history, wildlife, culture and myth.
Springlines presents work they made about some of those watery places – from dewponds to ancient wells, from old clay pits to furnace ponds, from chalk springs to the man-made pools at Glyndebourne.
Mary Anne's paintings and drawings sit with Clare's words, alongside short pieces by other contemporary writers, and water subjects drawn and painted by Cotman, Cristall, Edridge, Turner and others, to create a book that approaches some of the most evocative 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
Mary Anne Aytoun-Ellis' main focus throughout her career has been landscape, concentrating on specific areas, examining the elements which a place unique. Glimpse and memory characterise most of her work. She has lived in Sussex for most of her life.
Clare Best is the author of four volumes of poetry and a prose memoir. She has written about places as different and diverse as The Lincolnshire Fens and Lake Maggiore, but keeps returning to the south of England, where she lives.