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. ”
Arcadia Britannica is the product of photographer Henry Bourne s repeated trips to some of Britain s greatest folk events: striking color portraits capture an eccentric collection of individuals in inventive outfits, including arboreal costumes, pagan-inspired creations, and historical garb. These were captured at events like the annual Jack in the Green festival held in Hastings in May, for which the town and its people are decked in green to welcome summer, and the Easter Sunday celebration in Bacup, Lancashire, where fiercely proud Britannia Coconut Dancers (or Nutters ) perform their traditional seven dances. An accompanying text by Simon Costin provides the historical backstory and explains the folklore behind this wacky, inspiring collection of images.
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. ”