The Twilight Hour – Celtic Visions From The Past
by Simon Marsden
Format: Hardback, 128 pages
Publisher: Little, Brown. 2003
If you are a fan of the horror genre (and if your not you may be on the wrong blog!) then I am sure you will be familiar with the work of Simon Marsden. There is a good chance you may never have heard of him but you will know his work. Sir Simon Marsden is the foremost photographer of gothic, fantastic and supernatural places in the UK (probably the world) and his work has adorned book, magazine and even album (that’s CD kids) covers for the likes of Cormac McCarthy, Phil Rickman and the delightful pop combo Cradle Of Filth.
This collection brings together some of Marsden’s iconic photography with extracts from classic celtic supernatural literature from the likes of Arthur Machen, W.B.Yeats, Bram Stoker and Edgar Allan Poe. What makes Marsden’s style unique is his preference to shoot on black and white infra-red film, followed by hours of post processing in a darkroom. This creates a unique atmosphere in his photography, producing a grainy, black and white image where vegetation is rendered in pale (almost white) tones and the blue sky takes on a dramatic dark and brooding appearance.
Within this collection are some of Marsden’s most famous shots including such magnificent works as Gothic Window, Castle Barnard pg 119, Eccelscreig House pg 69 and Duntulm Castle pg 26. You can see many examples of Simon Marsden’s work at his website and I would urge everyone to try and get hold of a copy of this book.
The images in this book truly transcend the average illustration and imbue the text with an atmosphere completely in tune with the tone of the stories. Here the Photographs and text work together to create fully formed pieces of art. Marsden’s own experience of the supernatural means he is not purely working at a technical level here but is truly exploring “another dimension – a spirit world”. As an aspiring amateur photographer I can only stare in awe at the technical and aesthetic skill required to create these images, to succeed on page after page is testament to a truly great artist and one I highly recommend you check out.
Rating 5 out of 5