Folklore Rising

An Artist’s Journey through the British Ritual Year


Ben Edge is a rising star of both the art world and the current folk renaissance. This first trade book of Edge’s art, featuring over 200 artworks, is a unique insight into his creative process as well as the first mainstream book to explore the amazing and wildly popular folk customs of the British ritual year.


Coming 8th October 2024.


Ben Edge has travelled the length and breadth of Britain recording the weird and wonderful folk customs alive in communities all over the country. In this book, the first trade edition of his art, he shares over 200 paintings and photographs, along with real-life stories, anecdotes and legends. He talks about how connecting with our incredible living folklore helped him recover from depression, and also introduces his idea of folklore activism, suggesting that suggesting that the current massive resurgence of interest in contemporary folk culture represents ordinary people’s desire to find new ways of envisioning community and caring for and connecting to nature. Readers will be enchanted and inspired by the images and description of:

  • Mass events that are attended by thousands such as the solstices at Stonehenge, the Padstow ‘Obby ‘Oss parade, the Burry Man’s Day and the Straw Bear of Whittlesea.
  • Practices to celebrate the turning wheel of the year, from wassailing to May Day fertility rites to fire festivals to Mumming Plays.
  • The progressive all-female Morris dancing side Boss Morris.
  • The Green Man – how this has become an icon of modern spirituality and eco-consciousness and a personal symbol of mental health recovery to Ben.
  • Standing stones and the mythology surrounding them.

Overall the book explores the psyche of British folklore, showing how this has fed into his art and what this means in the context of contemporary life. It’s a book about reconnection with nature, each other and the past through art and folklore.

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