Whose idea was The Wight Book?
The Wight Book is a result of the creativity of talented, hard-working Island people, drawn together by the belief that the Isle of Wight is a remarkable place to live, work and play.
Some years ago, I had an idea to make a film and to create a high-quality book to celebrate what is best about the Isle of Wight, what it excels at now, along with its aspirations for the future. Part advocacy and part artwork, The Wight Book is the realisation of that dream. Brian Marriott, my co-author, and I intended the book to be produced independently of any institution, showcasing the Island in pictures, words and opinions by people who care about its unique environment and sense of community. We wanted to present our history, innovative DNA and cultural flair – in particular our excellence in food production, opportunities for business and growing potential for quality in architecture and housing. Everyone who has contributed to this book deserves my congratulations on a job well done. Thanks go to the photographers who captured the awe-inspiring images, to the local authors who wrote the captivating forewords and the editorial staff who have helped to bring this book together. Thanks go to the sponsors who have enabled this project to take place and to all those now involved in promoting the book. Their names are included within the acknowledgment section of this book.
A labour of love … Chris Scott said to me: “Brian, can you design a book about everything that’s great about the Island?” I accepted the invitation as it appealed to me immensely – my whole working life has been engaged in the creative industries. But as I started planning the content I slowly became aware of the enormity of the task I had accepted. My conceptual layouts evolved into 22 sections covering most aspects of what makes the Island “great”. It has also become a visual journey of what we hold as precious to us. This book could not have been achieved without the support of a great team of professionals who have all embraced the challenge, volunteering their time, skills and knowledge of this unique Island.
You never know what will pop into your inbox! When I first received Chris and Brian’s formative ideas on The Wight Book, I was taken aback. It initially felt too big, too ambitious to pull off. At the same time, it was the scale of the project that appealed and I felt sure I didn’t want it to go ahead without me, so it didn’t take me long to sign up. That was two years ago and if anything, the aspiration and breadth of the book has escalated as we head off to the printers. To be fair my role as photo editor has been pretty straightforward. We are blessed on the Island with many fine photographers and once we had settled on our team of 10, the book began to take shape very quickly. Many of the photographers I’d admired from afar, so it’s been a great experience to get to know them better and to go through their archives selecting the photography to illustrate Brian’s 22 chapters. This book is a one-off, a never-to-be-repeated snapshot of life on the Island in 2019. I hope you enjoy reading and re-reading The Wight Book. There are so many things that make the Isle of Wight “great”.