Caught by the River

The Angler Who Fell To Earth.

17th July 2014


A book by Mark Mattock.
Self Published 2014.
84 pages. Offset printing. Foiled-stamped case.22 x 29 cm.

Dazzling skyward glances, blinding reflections, rustling trees; strange aliens in the form of soft rubber lures and himalayan balsam with an erection. Icarus’s wings, Ophelia’s pool, Leda and her swan, railway arches, shadow selfies; water, water everywhere, parched earth and a stranded cardboard bog-roll pike: visual lyricism that eclectically intertwines a factual fishing commute with a fictitious other-worldly visitation to a familiar corner of modern English ‘edgeland’ – all by simple suggestion. A landscape, culture, memory mash.


The idea that the resurgent modern photo book has much of the creative potential of a song is fundamental to Mattock’s work, who commonly speaks of making images in terms of making music: “if you consider it in this context it makes almost instinctive sense; the physical attributes of the combined images being the sound: music, melody, beat. Each image: a sentence, a line of lyrics. You have composed something that can also express, describe, inform, imagine, tell a story, be a message – personal, universal; unconstrained by photography’s documentary straight jacket. You don’t have to believe it all literally first, you just experience it. Nothing evokes more powerfully than favourite records; paradoxically photography actually fails to do this any where near as effectively. More and more my books emerge out of photo jamming sessions. Visual riffs and sentences slowly build up into something you can then run with”.

It is Mark Mattock’s third self published photo book. Previously: Spring in the Temple of Plastic Pillars – a thoroughly modern take on the concept of the English wood. And: Where Rude Boys never think to look – a subtle idea of the English wood and Englishness explored through the real,mythological and iconic space occupied by that quintessential English woodland songster, the nightingale.

Cleverly referencing the 1976 British sci-fi film classic about an extraterrestrial’s mission to take water back to his drought ridden, dying planet, the 70’s nail polish coloured title foil-stamped on the cover should, alone, have dispelled any expectation that The Angler who fell to Earth is going to be solely another Angling book!

Mark Mattock.