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Portrait of Cumbria master.indd

3 Foreword BY STUART MACONIE The pendulum of fashion swings back and forth. Back in the early flush of the romantic boom, the first Lake District tourists would bring along with them ‘Claude Mirrors’; portable viewing devices with which the observer would turn his or her back on the scenery and tame its savage and disturbing primal nature into a postcard, the origin of the term ‘picturesque’. These days, we tame the fleeting moment and put ourselves centre stage into a ‘selfie’ of a gig, football match or even, yes, fellside. Neither of these two ways of seeing the world really live in the moment. They frame and capture it, but they don’t distill it. Somewhere between the two is photography as an art, and a commercial art, which is where these brilliant images by Cumbria Life picture editor Phil Rigby originate. Writer, broadcaster and Cumbria Life columnist All of these pictures are of Cumbria, Cumbrians - native or adopted - and elements of Cumbrian culture or landscape. But Phil has an eye (and more) for the striking juxtaposition; some of my favourites of Phil’s images find unusual, even daring settings for Cumbrians in their native habitats; mountain, studio, office, farm, kitchen. Phil’s portraiture is always adventurous and his landscape work ranges from classic views to new ways of showing the Lakes that capture the wildness, serenity or otherness of it all. These are images you may well have seen over the last nine years or so in the pages of Cumbria Life magazine where, naturally, they were things of great beauty. But, dare I say it they are even more impressive here, seen ‘curated’ gallery or exhibition style. Wander through and enjoy. Portrait of Cu m bria


Portrait of Cumbria master.indd
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