A Chronicle of Country Life – the Photographs of James Ravilious
by Robin Ravilious

Date: Thursday 3 March 2016

The widow of artist James Ravilious shares with us her husband’s legacy of exquisite photographs of North Devon farming communities in the 1960s and 1970s. Taken to preserve a vanishing world, these are poignant and memorable images.

A Chronicle of Country Life – the Photographs of James Ravilious

“I know of no other presentation of a particular place and people which is as broad and captivating as James Ravilious’s photographs of North Devon,” wrote the artist and writer Olive Cook in 1999. “They are the fruit of a quite exceptional acuity and patience of witness and of a quite unusual humility and warmth of spirit. This great body of work establishes its author as a master of the art of photography while at the same time it makes an unparalleled contribution to social history.”

Robin Ravilious worked with her husband in the preparation of The Heart of the Country and their subsequent collaboration, A Corner of England, in which James’s photographs are enhanced by Robin’s perceptive captions. Over a quarter of a century they compiled an archive of more than 10,000 historic photographs, which provide a unique portrait of life and landscape in a small area of relatively remote countryside within ten miles of Beaford.


Ivor Brock rescuing a lamb in a blizzard, Millhams, Dolton, Devon, 1978

James Ravilious for the Beaford Archive       © Beaford Arts

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