ALEXANDRA de STEIGUER
Small Island, Big Picture: Winters of Solitude Teach an Artist to See
Since the 1600’s the Isles of Shoals have hosted a variety of communities; rugged fishing villages, grand nineteenth century hotels, marine research facilities, and the summer conferences of today. But in winter, the Shoals are deserted. That’s when Alexandra de Steiguer arrives. Alone, she keeps watch over the buildings and grounds and natural elements – the winter caretaker. With every historic structure boarded up, the island’s rich history is veiled. And though buttressed against harsh weather and relentless winds, the islands remain timeless and inspiring to the single human witness that remains. From this place – a smattering of small islands situated in the north Atlantic, miles from the mainland – Alexandra draws on sixteen winters of virtual solitude to produce this volume. In it, she asks, “Can life itself be a work of art – a rewarding product of creativity, reflection and inspiration?”
With sixty-nine stirring black and white photographs that give voice to this rugged setting, her stories and reflections tell of how she learned to live in a very small place. Even while embracing solitude, she learned to value the connections between herself and the wider world. In Small Island, Big Picture, Alex shares with us the power of living in amazement of those connections, of loving the mystery of the unknown, and of re-examining what we think we know about ourselves. Though graced with beautiful images, hand-printed by the author in a traditional darkroom and then scanned for quality duotone, offset printing, this is more than a coffee-table art book. Rather, it is a small wonder of insights to be revisited again and again.
First Edition, hardcover, 128 pages, 9-1/2" x 11-1/4"