White herons. Nuclear power. The desert of the south-east.
Gary Budden, a lifelong bird-lover, returned to Dungeness in Kent – famous for its shingle desert, its nuclear power station, and Derek Jarman’s cottage – in the autumn of 2018 on a bird-watching trip. In the car park of the RSPB reserve, he watched greenfinches on a bird-feeder for the first time in several years – birds once commonplace, now under threat of extinction.
Entering the reserve, he saw the bird he had come to see: the great white egret, a towering white heron among the reeds, visible to the naked eye even from afar. Common on mainland Europe, but, a rarity and a source of excitement in the United Kingdom. Until now.
As part of Kickstarter's Make 100 initiative, and working with renowned landscape artist Maxim Griffin, The White Heron Beneath the Reactor is an illustrated landscape punk essay exploring the bleak, otherworldly and captivating landscapes of Dungeness, the effects of climate change and a warming world, our relationship with continental Europe, and the looming fear of apocalypse.
The author and artist have collaborated on a number of previous projects (such as Heaven is a Marsh in Winter), as well as continuing their ongoing solo investigations into the strangeness of the British landscape. They like working together and seeing how words and images can work together; how collaboration produces something unique that neither individual would have produced.
Inspired by their favourite limited releases from obscure punk, psychedelic and folk labels, and the lavishly produced, extremely limited weird fiction books they covet, Gary and Maxim decided to create something similar. The Make 100 initiative seemed perfect for what they wanted to create. The White Heron Beneath the Reactor is a poetic interrogation of place and landscape in the current political climate; it is also a beautifully produced collector's item for the bibliophile in all of us.
The hardback is LIMITED TO 100 copies, with an added unlimited paperback version now available. Full colour illustrations.
With your help, we make this book a reality.
ABOUT THE CREATORS
'Gary Budden has been directly instrumental in raising the profile of psychogeography, new weird and strange fiction within a distinctly British context. His own stories engage with place, class and memory at a gut level, seeming to morph into something else even as we encounter them.'
– Nina Allan, author of The Rift and The Dollmaker
Gary Budden is a writer, editor and the co-founder of award-winning independent publisher, Influx Press. His book of uncanny psychogeographies and landscape punk, Hollow Shores, was published in 2017 by Dead Ink, and his novella Judderman (as D.A. Northwood) was published in 2018 by the Eden Book Society. His story ‘Greenteeth’ was adapted into a short film by the filmmaker Adam Scovell. He lives in London.
"The art of Maxim Peter Griffin attunes itself to the spirit of a place. Or is it spirits? Griffin’s is a strange, playful, stubborn kind of vision – in the best tradition of Stanley Spencer or Eric Ravilious. He animates landscape, brings pylons to life."
– Tom Jeffreys, author of Signal Failure
Maxim Griffin is an artist, illustrator and writer based in Lincolnshire. A fine art graduate and former stonemason, over the past few years he has been building a body of work that echo his experiences on foot between the North Sea and the hills. Griffin walks, draws and reports back.
Risks and challenges
Gary Budden and Maxim Griffin have collaborated on several projects in the past, with a long history of working together. Gary is the author of Hollow Shores (Dead Ink, 2017) and Maxim is the author of the upcoming Field Notes (Unbound). Both have long and proven track records in the world of publishing, and have complete confidence in delivering an excellent book. We have already planned the project in detail, have received quotes from our printer and planned all printing materials in advance, and secured the services of a professional designer. In addition to this, Gary has run several successful Kickstarter projects with the independent publisher he co-founded, Influx Press.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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