Sunday, 21 March 2010

Crop Circles: Art in the Landscape by Lucy Pringle

January 2010, Frances Lincoln
112 pages, Paperback
Review Copy


Yunaleska's recommended rating:♥♥♥♥

Summary from Frances Lincoln

Whether they are scientific enigmas, paranormal phenomena, mischievous hoaxes or inspired land art, the scale, beauty and mathematical and symbolic complexity of crop circles continues to astound. Throughout the summer months every year, in fields of oilseed rape, barley and wheat, a rash of ever more elaborate circles and designs appears.

Lucy Pringle has been photographing and researching crop circles for nearly twenty years. She here presents a catalogue of her awe-inspiring aerial photographs taken across the south of England, guaranteed to amaze believers and sceptics alike.

Hands up those who are thinking of flying saucers upon seeing the title! From Lucy's in-depth research I Iearnt literally how much of an international phenomena crop circles actually are. I wrongly assumed they were only in wheat or grain fields, but the medium used for crop circles is varied, and includes carrots. Crop circles have fascinated people of all ages in all time eras. What's more, the level of detail that people researched crop circles hundreds of years ago is of a similar level to the research now.Before I read this book, I thought crop circles were pretty. I didn't realise about the amount of symbolism attached to them.

I smiled at the Fibonacci mention, although I don't think bunnies will be in this field. Having said that...the idea of bunnies being the source of crop circles is amusing! (reason for comment can be seen here)

Crop circle patterns include some of the following shapes:
  • Asteroid belt (pg 11)- which look like bubbles of chocolate to me, when I was thinking about snacks!
  • Double helix (pg 15)- which also looked like a caterpillar to me.
  • One reminded me of the Death Star in Star Wars. (pg 12)
  • One looks like a sci-fi spaceship badge of rank to me.(pg 13, 22)
  • A shell (pg 60)
  • The scarab beetle looks as though it is flying through the land. (pg 77)
A few look like optical illusions. A fair number look as though could be the focal point on a patchwork quilt. Others look like the magnificent gardens at stately homes, on a grander scale and without the flowers. Many remind me of weapons, symbols or even a magical spell from video games.

The photo of the crop circle with a horse looking at it is my favourite, the circle is quite ordinary but the angle of the photo provides a stunning view.(pg 30-31)

Although it is photographic book, I thought it might have a few more pages of explanation han it did. But upon learning that Lucy has written other books, I think I made sense that this book focused on the beauty of the crop circles. I don't hold the view that little green aliens, (or purple ones....) created them. Words aren't needed to recognise that the precision and the talent (natural, man-made or green/purple alien-made) behind them is extraordinary.

Lucy can be found on her website, full of crop circle information, here.

If you liked this, check out stunning photos in Landscapes of the Ribble by Andy Latham


Lauren said...

Interesting review. I'm really intrigued by crop circles. I'd prefer it if they were created by aliens, but if not they're still an amazing art form.

Yunaleska said...

Me too Lauren. Little purple people out in the dark of the night is appealing.