From the burrows and secret bunkers beneath our feet to imagined hellscapes and surrealist dreamscapes, the disquieting, alarming and wonderful visuals span natural and constructed subterranea and imagined and subconscious worlds. A personal introduction by Stephen Ellcock together with contextual chapter introductions establish the key themes, while supplementary texts elucidate essential concepts, historical events and figures. Thought-provoking literary, philosophical and spiritual quotations punctuate the intriguing images.
Together, the images and authoritative text highlight the interplay between the real and the imagined, revealing how the real has fed our fears and hopes and informed our imagination – and conversely, how our imagination has depicted the esoteric, the abject and the unknown.
'A creative compendium of underworldly delights … From Peter Paul Rubens, via 20th-century surrealists such as René Magritte, to contemporary painters including Kara Walker, Ellcock gathers together the painters, poets, divers and archaeologists daring us to look beyond the surface at what lies beneath'