Monday, October 28, 2013

The Most Beautiful Book in the World

Thank you Ian Lawson.

Thank you for your words, your photography, and your most beautiful book, From the Land Comes the Cloth: A journey to the heart of the Hebrides.



Thank you for your ability to connect to a land, its people and its cloth and to create a work of art that connects me to them.

As you say in your book,
Colour reflects our moods and the seasons; it calms and excites the senses.  Different textures add depth and definition.  The light and shadow of the Outer Hebrides and its unique landscape of ancient stones, mountains, loch, machair, moorland, beach and ocean slowed me to a standstill.  As I began to photograph the landscape, the people and the tweed, I started to see patterns emerge.  A beat began and the rhythm of Harris Tweed flowed into my consciousness and into my pictures.

A piece of Harris Tweed is an art form.  Caught up in the warp and weft is a combination of inherited traditions, individual imagination, craftsmanship and skill.  This artistry and ingenuity in the weaver's work is a genuine appreciation of the land, told in wool...The glorious landscape and cloth are undeniably entwined.  


I am grateful for your heart that captured the true essence of the people of the Outer Hebrides.  I am grateful for your talent and patience as a photographer for capturing the light, the people, the land and the cloth in a way that I could not.

I am grateful for this book that moves me every time I sit down with its 430 pages of beauty.

Its weight grounds me to the earth again and reminds me how I felt for those seven hours I spent on the Isles of Harris and Lewis.  Through your work, I experience the interrelationships between sea, land, sky, plants and people and feel the rhythm of their conjoined heartbeat.



For those who cannot afford to travel to the Outer Hebrides of Scotland where your story is told, thank you for this film that you prepared for them to watch:


HEART OF THE HEBRIDES from Ian Lawson on Vimeo.

And for those who are not able to buy the book, thank you for the 108-page preview that you so generously share on your website.

I am still trying to figure out why Scotland has touched me so.  And your book is helping me think it through.  There is spirituality woven into its pages guiding me along.

Thank you Ian Lawson.  You have created a masterful work.  My counsel and companion until I can visit the Hebrides again.

[Note:  Through Ian's website, I have found he is releasing another book entitled Shepherdess: Seasons of my Life which follows the story of Alison O'Neill as she tends her hill farm in Cumbria.  Gerry Krueger, this video is for you.  It's 13 minutes of absolutely wonderful.]

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Beautiful book at £125 sterling - ouch at the cost.

Mary Ann said...

Absolutely stunning pictures:)

Lisa said...

Wow! It's easy to see why these islands have captured your heart. They touched you much the same way that Iona touched me. I'm going to have to save my pennies for Ian's books. All three books look amazing.

theimperfectionary said...

I am truly heart-sick for a place I've never been! All your posts about Scotland have got me itching to get there! Thank you!!!!

Molly said...

OMG Susan! i already have over 200 things on my list at Amazon and you have to throw this at me!


Molly

gracie said...

Simply, thank you....

Rachel said...

I think it is the firm attachment to place that creates the magic of Harris Tweed - something we are learning to appreciate again.

Gerry Krueger said...

At some time during every single day I miss my sheep... I never drive up the lane without unconsciously looking to see if they were still in the pasture.. Most of all I miss giving them back rubs which kept my hands soft and supple from their lanolin and their nuzzling my apron pocket looking for sweet grain.

Createology said...

Beautiful photography of land and fabrics woven in such amazing colors and combinations. Thank you so much for sharing what I would never have seen or known. Blessings...

diana said...

amazon tells me this book is no longer available. how can a copy be found? any ideas? This is gorgeous. thanks so much for these wonderful posts on your trip to the islands of Scotland!!!

Margaret said...

Thank you for sharing Mr. Lawson's work with us. It draws me in...being of Scots ancestry (albeit mainland) on my father's side...and I am quite blown away by the colour studies in the fabric and yarn that mirror the landscape. Whoa!!

Ati Ham Sas said...

Hi Susan, thank you so much for the stories and video's about the isles of Scotland. I spent the whole evening to catch up with your blog.It was such a long time ago that I had time enough to read everything. My heart made a jump when i saw the isle of Skey, we have been there too with our daughters in 1981. There was a competion of shepherds and their dogs, great to watch.
Also the video about Lewis isle made me feel home, it looks so much as the landscape were I live now. Wish I had the possibility to go there one day, well, you never know :)You book will be wonderful when ready!

Catherine said...

Your book looks like such a treasure! Loved seeing the pictures next to the fabrics ~ I so see the connections!!

Alisa said...

Oh Susan, thank you so much for sharing Ian Lawson! I smiled and sighed through both videos.
Gosh, I miss Scotland.

Judy S. said...

You must have some Scottish blood?

Alister Rutherford said...

I am enjoying your series of posts on the Western Isles. I can see why they have touched you so much. Your photos are very beautiful. I have not so far managed to get to the Western Isles, but I must make the effort. So many beautiful islands in Scotland to visit.

traderslostart said...

Thank you so much for sharing this incredible book (at least a few pages). It might be the only time I get to see it because I am sure the price would be more than I could afford. perhaps the Library might have it some day.

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