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Looking to Sea

ebook / ISBN-13: 9781529309225

Price: £25

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Hardcover

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‘We see nothing truly until we understand it.’ John Constable

An alternative history of Britain in the twentieth century, Looking to Sea is an exquisite work of cultural, artistic and philosophical history.


From Vanessa Bell’s Studland Beach, one of the first modernist paintings in Britain, to Paul Nash’s work bearing the scars of his experience in the trenches and Martin Parr’s photographs of seaside resorts in the 1980s that tackle ideas of class and deprivation, Looking to Sea embraces ideas from modernism and the sublime, the impact of the world wars and colonialism, to issues crucial to our world today like the environment and nationhood.

Looking to Sea is an astonishingly perceptive portrait of the twentieth century. Art critic Lily Le Brun brings a fresh eye, acute observation and challenges the reader to find a new way to look at the history of our island nation.

Looking to Sea is a remarkable and compelling book. It is both a wonderfully sustained mapping of the intersection between artists, writers and the sea and a meditation on belonging and displacement. I loved it.’ Edmund de Waal

Reviews

This history of twentieth-century Britain, refracted through ten artistic responses to the sea, is beautifully written - authoritative and questioning; scholarly, but also vividly insightful about bodies, private lives, feelings, the often-overlooked quotidian.
Aida Edemariam, judge of the RSL awards
Looking to Sea is a remarkable and compelling book. It is both a wonderfully sustained mapping of the intersection between artists, writers and the sea and a meditation on belonging and displacement. I loved it.
Edmund de Waal