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Arcadia Britannica

Folklore is a living cultural heritage. Folk beliefs, customs and expressions link the past to the present and help us understand our specific cultures, as well as a shared humanity. Founded on pagan Celtic, Germanic and early Christian roots, British folklore, far from being a quaint anachronism, remains vibrant and relevant by adapting to new circumstances, with the folk (people), and the lore (stories) continually informing and influencing each other. There are many recorded folk events, rites and customs practised in the UK each year, with some events drawing crowds of thousands. Most involve dance, theatre, music and a fair amount of good-natured revelry. Henry Bournes folklore portraits, shot in the wild at key events and festivals, take an affectionate look at the people from Morris dancers to practising witches and warlocks who shy away from a world increasingly disconnected from nature and those who actively celebrate a rich tradition that honours our connection with the seasons, the land and community.
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You won t glean many beauty tips from British photographer Henry Bourne s wonderful and wacky portraits of folklore enthusiasts, but you may find some gardening ones!" A compendium of British folklore enthusiasts whose quirky costumes often look to the land. Outside of the context of the greater spectacle the strange details of the costumes that mix the old and the new come clearly into focus. Featuring 125 portraits, the book is an endearing album of extravagantly costumed individuals inventively disguised as shrubs or haystacks, shimmering with mother-of-pearl buttons, and posturing as witchy high priestesses. Folkloric festivals and traditions remain vital throughout the UK, evidenced here by the colorful yet serious portraits captured by Bourne. These traditions, visually exciting in their use of costumes, face painting, and props, have helped strong community identity persisting over time. Lovers of fashion and personal style will appreciate this visual survey of British folk costume. You won't glean many beauty tips from British photographer Henry Bourne's wonderful and wacky portraits of folklore enthusiasts, but you may find some gardening ones! Bourne crisscrossed Great Britain to capture folk-fest attendees at their most outlandish: "Jack-in-the-Greens" wearing head-to-toe spring foliage for May Day; Bonfire Night revelers in full medieval garb; and partyers arrayed in patchwork at the Whittlesea Straw Bear Festival. Bourne photographs each of them against a stark white background, capturing their full peacock finery in vivid detail. The British love of dressing up takes a weird and wondrous turn. . . . When captured by Bourne's lens, one thing is abundantly clear: Much like fancy dress at Halloween, modern folk is fun.

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