Ravishing Ravilious

Thanks once again to Brian David Stevens for pointing me to James Ravilious; a world in photographs, a fine 30 minute film about his incredible 17 year project photographing the disappearing world of rural North Devon.

Ravilious (1939-99), whose father was the artist Eric Ravilious,  was inspired by seeing the work of Henri Cartier-Bresson in 1969 to become a photographer. In 1972 he had to move to Devon in there started to work at the Beaford Centre, who wanted a record of the area.

I first saw Ravilious’s pictures for real on a rare visit to the Royal Photographic Society with a friend who was a member, I think around 1990. I’d seen them before in magazines, but they were much more impressive as prints. I’ve written before about his work, as have others, but it’s still true to say that his work is not as well known as it should be. His is a view that is both real and bucolic; he refused to to photograph things that he didn’t find beauty in and was apparently easily horrified. I’ll perhaps write more about him later, particularly his views on ‘green’ which very much fit with my own.

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