© Golf Paysan, Flamanville, 2021, Série Impressions of Normandie
Simon ROBERTS: Un air de vacances
Exhibition from September 8 to October 21 2023
Opening with the artist on Thursday September 7, from 6pm to 9pm
For the upcoming September season, the Sit Down gallery is pleased to present Un air de vacances, by photographer Simon Roberts. The exhibition invites us to discover a British artist’s view of French people on vacation. Through his series Impressions of Normandie , Simon Roberts captures a panorama of outdoor leisure activities. These scenes of seaside bathing, cycling and picnics, far from being trivial, are part of a history of landscape that is either English or French.
This series was made during a residency at the Centre Photographique Rouen Normandie and the Château de Flamanville.
Download press release.
Between Tides is the resulting exhibition from my 2022 Artist in Residence programme with Guernsey Museums & Galleries.
The residency focussed on Guernsey’s harbours – St Peter Port and St Sampson’s – which I explored with large format landscape photographs, a series of portraits, and video work, the notion of territory and identity. The artist in residence programme is a collaboration between Guernsey Photography Festival and Guernsey Museums & Galleries. Since 2012 it has welcomed Martin Parr (UK), Klavdij Sluban (Slovenia), Michelle Sank (South Africa), Jason Wilde (UK), Mark Power (UK), Gregoire Eloy (France), Sian Davey (UK) and Cristina De Middel (Spain/ Mexico).
Guernsey’s harbours – St Peter Port and St Sampson – have long played a crucial role in the history of the island. The former was used since ancient times by the Romans, the Vikings and the Normans, but both ports became important strategic locations during World War II. The sites have continued evolving over the centuries and become vital for the island’s trade and commerce. Fuel tankers now discharge alongside berths where quarrymen once loaded stone onto sailing ships. Over a hundred years ago, majestic ‘three masters’ docked for passengers relieved to walk ashore after a long and perilous journey. Now travellers drive off the fast ferries while cruise ships disembark their passengers keen to photograph the picturesque seafront and its layers of multicoloured facades. The harbours have been the island’s lifeline and remain so to this day.
The exhibition runs from Friday 30th June until Monday 28th August, open daily 10am-5pm.
The private view is 29th June, 6.30-7.30pm, before which there will be an opportunity to hear me discuss this project and my career with Jean-Christophe Godet in the Frossard Theatre from 5.30-6.30pm . Tickets to this talk are FREE, however must be booked in advance through Eventbrite, details will be released on our social media.
This exhibition has been printed entirely on recyclable materials.
In Carrara, an Italian city frequented over the centuries by sculptors from all over the world for the marble of the Apuan Alps and the city’s highly specialized workers, the seventh edition of White Carrara will be staged from 17 June to 1 October 2023. It’s an event involving the entire historic centre of the city with sculptures and installations by national and international artists in the streets and squares.
Prints from my series, Beneath The Pilgrim Moon, will be on show at Palazzo Binelli, headquarters of the Cassa di Risparmio di Carrara Foundation (Via Verdi, 7), alongside works by Bruno Cattani, Giacomo Infantino, Carolina Sandretto and Dune Varela.
A Call to the Commons is a public art and architecture project that builds on the London Festival of Architecture 2023 theme ‘In Common’.
The high street is an urban-commons and its role is changing fast. We are in a period of testing and prototyping new models of living and working in a post pandemic world, models that call us to question our ideas about how we use and occupy our public spaces, ownership, and protest. Through this project street media is used to explore the notion of the commons through 6 newly commissioned posters by artists, architects and designers installed on billboards, fly posters and digital screens across London.
‘Together for the Final Say’ is my response to the commission. On October 19, 2019, campaigners from the People’s Vote movement took part in the ‘Together for the Final Say’ event calling for a second Brexit referendum. Their message was that regardless on how the public voted in the Brexit referendum, the British people deserved a say on the final deal negotiated. Supporters amassed in Parliament Square for this common cause, after marching en masse through central London. It’s estimated that up to 400,000 attended the event, making it one of the biggest ever outpouring of pro-EU sentiment.
The photograph portrays a large group of the People’s Vote campaigners crowded around the statue of Millicent Fawcett in the shadow of the Palace of Westminster, which honours the British suffragist leader and social campaigner Dame Millicent Fawcett – the first monument to a woman in Parliament Square and also its first sculpture by a woman (Gillian Wearing). In the wake of the Government’s 2023 Public Order Bill, where the legal definition of ‘serious disruption’ has been broadened, giving police greater flexibility when to intervene to stop disruptive protests, the photograph questions how our public spaces are now being policed and also references the debate about who we see memorialised in our public spaces.
Guests are invited to visit site locations throughout June. All locations can be sourced here. My posters are located:
Billboards: 5 – 18 June
Gypsy Corner, Victoria, London W3 6HU
Wardour St, Westminster
Brixton Atlantic Road
Digital: 5 June – 2 July
Holland Park Digital Roundabout, W12 8LZ
Commissioned by Aldo Rinaldi and Rumi Bose, and sponsored by Build Hollywood and Cross River Partnership.
Composed of two parts; ‘How did we get here?’ showcases various photographic and video works spanning the past 15 years of my career including We English, Pierdom, Merrie Albion and the Brexit Lexicon. It explores issues around identity, belonging and the complex relationship between history, place, and culture. The second part, ‘Where do we go now?’ allows visitors to participate in a series of workshops and open sessions where people are given a unique opportunity to respond creatively to the current social climate, culminating in a new artwork piece (The Public Gallery), that will develop over the course of the exhibition. The new piece will be unveiled in the storefront window in the last week of the exhibition.
Running from 20th May to 30th June, the FREE to enter exhibition will be held every Wednesday-Sunday from 11am-5pm at the previous H&M store within Grosvenor Shopping Centre in Chester, in a newly remodelled space that offers an immersive environment in the heart of the city.
My photograph and video works, which are displayed over both floors of the former H&M store, offer a commentary on the social and political issues that we face in our daily lives, questioning the choices that have led us to where we are today. Together, the two elements of the exhibition will act as a catalyst for open discussion about the function of the British High Street as the future use of urban spaces are increasingly debated. The work touches on prevalent and contentious issues, from exposing our post-imperial predicament, the complications of New Commonwealth immigration, the Brexit schism, to the possibilities of UK devolution and the consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic.
We have arranged an extensive public programme collaborating with local schools, Universities and community groups. Workshops are being led by local volunteers and are also working with Redeye, Photoworks and collage artist, Mark Murphy. Some of the public workshops available to the general public are:
Zine / poster workshop in response to the Simon Roberts exhibition
9 & 11 June
Redeye – the Photography Network – workshops for Degree and A’level student
Collage workshop with Mark Murphy
The exhibition was commissioned by Chester Visual Arts and funded by Arts Council England.
You can download a pdf with more information about the exhibition here.
The exhibition has so far toured to: National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul, Korea (2018); Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing, China (2019); National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia (2020); Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Auckland, New Zealand (2020); Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditerranée (Mucem), Marseille, France (2021) and Musei San Domenico, Forlì, Italy (2022)
FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA 2023 – EUROPE MATTERS: VISIONS OF A RESTLESS IDENTITY
From 28 April to 11 June 2023, Fotografia Europea returns to Reggio Emilia, Italy, the photography festival with an increasingly international standing having been recently named as Photo Festival of the Year at the Lucie Awards 2022.
Starting from a reflection on the idea of Europe and the ideals that underpin it, the exhibitions bring to the surface questions concerning the current state of the multicultural and globalised world we live in: a world in which for some time now, Europe has no longer exercised that spiritual and material hegemony that were attributed to it for centuries. Through the medium of photography, the artists trace the dynamic and uncertain lines of an increasingly mobile and porous identity, with the aim of making sense of the restlessness that runs through it.
Tim Clark (Editor of 1000 Words), Walter Guadagnini (photography historian and Director of CAMERA – Centro Italiano per la Fotografia) and Luce Lebart (French photography historian, curator and researcher both for the Archive of Modern Conflict Collection and independently) form this year’s team of artistic directors.
The monumental Chiostri di San Pietro will constitute the hub of the festival, hosting 10 solo exhibitions. More details of my exhibition can be found here.
The latest touring venue for Generations: Portraits of Holocaust Survivors is the Imperial War Museum in Manchester. The exhibition will showcase works from 13 contemporary photographers, all members and Fellows of the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), alongside photography by RPS patron, Her Royal Highness The Princess of Wales.
I am exhibiting my video portraits, which can be seen here.
Through a series of individual and family portraits, the moving photographs in this exhibition present a group of survivors who made the UK their home after beginnings marked by unimaginable loss and trauma. While offering a space to remember and share their stories, these portraits are a celebration of the rich lives they have lived and the special legacy which their children and grandchildren will carry into the future.
Photographers include Frederic Aranda, Sian Bonnell, Jillian Edelstein, Arthur Edwards, Anna Fox, Joy Gregory, Jane Hilton, Tom Hunter, Karen Knorr, Carolyn Mendelsohn, Simon Roberts, Michelle Sank, Simon Hill and HRH The Princess of Wales.
Presented in partnership with the Royal Photographic Society (RPS), Jewish News, the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Dangoor Education and Northern Partner The Fed.
Image: Eric Ravilious, Chalk Paths (1935)
I have three photographic works included in this group exhibition at Pallant House Gallery. Sussex Landscape: Chalk, Wood and Water (12 November 2022 – 23 April 2023) is the first major exhibition to celebrate Sussex as a place of inspiration for artists.
Sussex has a unique sense of place. Its distinctive chalk-cliff coastline and the rolling hills of the South Downs have inspired artists for centuries. While some found solace and reflection in the landscape, for others, it provided the vital space to explore different ways of living and artistic innovation.
The exhibition includes works by J.M.W Turner, William Nicholson, Vanessa Bell, Duncan Grant, Ivon Hitchens, Eric Ravilious and Edward Burra. It also features work by contemporary artists to extend the dialogue between artistic expression and the landscape. As a connection between creative expression, personal freedom and commitment to understanding the landscape is being discussed with increasing urgency, this exhibition offers a moment to consider the work of those who have gone before and have captured a changing world.
A catalogue for the exhibition is available here.
The 40th edition of the annual Small is Beautiful exhibition, which presents works by over 100 artists, each measuring no more than 7 x 9 inches.
I am presenting a new work A Scene Most Unfit for a Picture, 2022 (stereoscope and stereoscopic viewer, unique).
While earlier editions proposed suggested themes, for instance Homages in 1993, War & Peace in 2003 and Who’s Afraid of Red, Yellow and Blue? in 2013, Small Is Beautiful is now conceived as an open invitation for artists to explore scale in relation to their own practice.
Participating for the first time is Sean Scully, who this year also curated the group show Hidden UK, Hidden Ireland at Flowers Gallery Kingsland Road. Also exhibiting for the first time are interdisciplinary artist Adelaide Damoah, photographers Cody Cobb and Mark Duffy and painter Luke Silva. Returning artists include John Loker, who has participated in every edition, Amanda Faulkner who has shown with the gallery since the 1980s, Carol Robertson who first showed at Flowers in 1994 and Ishbel Myerscough who has been represented by the gallery since 2011.