Thames Log – Chloe Dewe Mathews


Loose Joints Publishing, 2021
1st edition
Softcover, 24×29.5 cm
152 pages, 76 color photographs
English text

New copy with light traces of wear on the cover

In stock

With the passing of the years and the advent of increasingly secularised societies, ‘we have lost our connection to water’, says Chloe Dewe Mathews.

Over the course of several years, she has documented astonishing rituals taking place in and around the Thames, from its marshy source to its vast, rolling estuary in the North Sea. She has observed ancient traditional ceremonies, sometimes collective, others shaped as privately improvised acts; some are deliberate tributes to the river, symbolising a prodigy and a boon; others are part of a routine in the unconscious daily round of people’s lives.

The meaning of water is not exhausted in mythology, religions, antiquity, because these symbolic contents belong to the deepest structure of our psyche: water, in the multiplicity of forms it can take, proves to be the object of an equally multiplicity of meanings for the human being.

In Thames Log, the photographer documents how a river can shorten distances and fill absence. Dewe Mathews does not blink at her subjects or pin them down through her gaze; she records them as if she herself were the light-sensitive medium, part of the environment. Hers is an art of delicate attention, her choice is to capture fleeting traces: the arrow laid in the flour in the misty abaze of a summer solstice; the drift of flowers scattered near the Southern Pier after the ashes of a loved one have been thrown into the river. The immaterial body of the river acquires form and meaning through an elegiac gesture, an offering that is at once prayer, as the once-living person dissolves into the elements of air and water.

Weight 2 kg


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