Geoff Dyer on Peter Mitchell’s Scarecrows

We absolutely love this. Geoff Dyer writes on Peter Mitchell’s Scarecrows in the New York Times, bringing them to life with his ineffable, free-ranging prose.
‘Like these effigies, and unlike statues, the scarecrows are far from permanent, let alone immortal. So it is appropriate that Mitchell’s photographic record does not aspire to the taxonomic rigor associated with, say, Bernd and Hilla Becher’s gridded images of industrial structures. It’s more like a bunch of street portraits, done slowly, in fields. Time, in its physical manifestations — rain, wind and sun — takes its toll. The snowsuit becomes smeared in what looks like blood, as if it has barely survived some frosty and atrociously extended ordeal. A bloody wound suggests that crows have begun to peck away at its Promethean liver. Eventually the clothes rot away, so that the scarecrows acquire a Lear-on-the-heath air of tragedy: “Off, off you lendings!” The difference is that whereas Lear discovers that beneath the clothes are “poor naked wretches,” these guys are their clothes. Patched together not from stolen body parts but lent clothes, there is, nevertheless, a Frankensteinian quality to them: They are, by definition, scary.’
© Peter Mitchell
© Peter Mitchell

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Say Hello to RRB Publishing and Photobook Bristol at Offprint

If you’re in town for Photo London this weekend, come visit the publishing arm of Photobook Bristol, RRB Publishing in a virtual kind of way.

Sadly we won’t be deep in the bowels of Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall taking part in Offprint, London’s biggest Photobook Event, but you will be able to visit us online at RRB Photobooks.


amak 2

image above from Shenasnameh

You can check out our recently published titles such as Post-Script by Laura El-Tantawy, Shenasnameh by Amak Mahmoodian  (Co-published with ICVL Studio, , there will be a copy on display at Hurtwood Press stall) and Memento Mori by Peter Mitchell, buy from the amazing range of new and old photobooks with prices to suit everybody, and order tickets for Photobook Bristol.

And between doing all that, we hope you buy lots of books from everybody at Offprint, which is a truly fabulous event.



If you’re not familiar with Peter Mitchell, it’s never too late to start. A stalwart of early British colour documentary in the late 1970s, he is now undergoing a renaissance with a rush of new publications (mostly published by us) and a show at Arles this summer.

For an idea of how important a photographer Peter is, read this review of Peter’s Strangely Familiar on Photo Eye. And this is the introduction to the book. Written by Martin Parr, it explains how Peter Mitchell was responsible for Martin’s conversion to colour.

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