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Books published

Photography (Heinemann 1979)

Stones and Marks (Lodima Press 2004).
Available online from Dymocks, Amazon and from the author (see contact)

Volcano (T&G Publishing 2007)
Available from the author (see contact)

The Windmill Collection (T&G Publishing 2008 - ISBN 9780977579037) more...




Stones and Marks

To you I say, passer by:
As you are, I was;
As I am, you will be.
Use life as a mortal.

Translation of a Greek inscription on a burial stone at Gadara, Umm Qais, Jordan AD 355-356

Photographs and text by Peter Elliston

77 reproductions, 172 pages, 13"x11" Hardcover

ISBN 1-888899-10-7 (Regular Edition)

ISBN 1-888899-11-5 (Special Edition)

Published by Lodima Press


Reviews of Stones and Marks

Midwest Book Review (USA):

Stones and Marks is an impressively splendid, superbly presented, black-and-white photographic showcase of inscripted stones and stone monuments left behind by humanity's ancestors worldwide since prehistory. With images ranging from megalithic structures to block reliefs, crumbled city walls, petroglyphs and so much more, each two-page spread features a revealing photograph on the right, accompanied by a brief text description of the stone's origin on the left. A captivating legacy of immortal messages and landmarks, and the next best thing to personally traveling to view enduring ancient wonders. Stones and Marks would make an especially appropriate Memorial Fund acquisition for academic and public library systems.

John Burroughs Reviewer

Photofile Volume 72, Spring 2004, published by Australian Centre for Photography Review by Martin Thomas. Excerpts:

.....this highly nuanced photography is the product of a grand passion..... Elliston is still swayed by a childhood love of rocks and carvings. ....A panoramic sweep of cultures and histories is evoked by his thoughtful selection of 76 plates....

Time and decay are a constant concern for Elliston. The theme is handled starkly though persuasively in the North Head photograph. The inscriptions giving date, name of vessel and shipping line are legible in the foreground. Beyond lies an expanse of weathered heathland. What a poignant scene this is. The exacting labour of carving these messages filled the doldrums for those would-be immigrants who waited in quarantine. Marks of presence would serve as a counterpoint to the uncertainty of their fate.

The majority of photographed sites, however, are extremely ancient. There are megalithic burial chambers from Ireland, Australian rock paintings, examples of 'lifting stones' (used by Icelandic fishermen to show their strength) and a wealth of extraordinary archaeological sites from Jordan. Usually I'm sceptical about projects that mix up disparate civilisations and epochs, but Elliston is highly attentive to cultural difference. Each reproduction is coupled with a thoughtful and erudite explanatory note.

This is classic black and white photography, taken on an 8 x 10 field camera and exquisitely reproduced via a quadtone (four-plate) printing process. The artistic and production values are exquisite and the book is eminently collectable.

The Age, Melbourne 21 August 2004. Reviewed by Dianne Dempsey in Book Reviews. Excerpts:

Elliston has spent the past decade searching for monuments, ancient ruins, standing stones, petroglyphs and pictographs. Elliston's text, which accompanies each photo, often includes original impressions from 19th-century historians, poets and artists....... Elliston says humankind has always been compelled to reach out to its future family. And speak to us our ancestors do: whether we are viewing scratch marks on stone or a monumental temple, we cannot help being touched by the knowledge that this other family was here......... Elliston's strength is to take you with him on the site to enjoy the thrill of finding these marks, often hidden inside lonely landscapes, as if for the first time.



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