My photograph ‘Abandoned Warship in the Kola Bay, Murmansk, Russia, 2005’ from Motherland is included in the book 1001 Photographs: You Must See Before You Die.
Publisher: Cassell (7 Sept. 2017)
From the oldest surviving photograph from 1826, to Trump’s election win in 2016, this is a chronological tour through the greatest images ever captured, and an all-inclusive guide to the art of photography.
The book is available here.
A boxed set of publications to accompany the ‘Unfamiliar Familiarities—Outside Views on Switzerland’ exhibition has just been published by Lars Müller Publishers.
The set includes six volumes, one for each of the five participating artists (Alinka Echeverría, Shane Lavalette, Eva Leitolf, Simon Roberts, Zhang Xiao) and one text volume. You can view a preview video of my ‘Sight Sacralization’ volume here:
Edited by Peter Pfrunder, Lars Willumeit, Tatyana Franck, In collaboration with Fotostiftung Schweiz, Winterthur, and Musée de l’Elysée, Lausanne.
Design: Pilar Rojo
AVAILABLE TO PURCHASE HERE.
A series of photographs from my We English and Pierdom series are included in this new survey of contemporary landscape photography produced by curator William A. Ewing and published by Thames&Hudson.
ABOUT: Landmark is a defining survey of contemporary landscape photography featuring more than 230 images by over 100 leading photographers of today, all of whom present an individual viewpoint about a shared concern for our changing landscape and environment. The book is organized around ten themes and includes work by such distinguished practitioners as Edward Burtynsky, Stéphane Couturier, Mitch Epstein and Sally Mann. From restful, bucolic images capturing the last vestiges of nature, through shocking depictions of a sullied Earth, scarred and abused, to surreal and artificial landscapes where the natural landscape is a highly controlled one, the book provides a thought-provoking meditation on the meaning of landscape in todays world. The well-known writer and curator William A. Ewing contributes introductory texts to each of the sections, as well as the preface and introduction. Landmark also features statements by the artists themselves.
In reference to We English, Ewing writes:
“As the historian Simon Schama has noted, the pastoral is ‘a product of the orderly mind rather than the playground of the unchained senses.’ Simon Roberts’s images of the English at play illustrate this point beautifully; a people at ease with themselves and surroundings, ‘exploring and examining their own countryside, eulogizing its obvious virtues… making a virtue of its drawbacks, and assuring themselves that no country in the world is quite so pleasant’. In fact, those words were used to describe England as photographed by the thoughtful Edwin Smith almost a century ago. Yet they apply beautifully to Roberts’s world.”
The book is organized into ten themes—Sublime; Pastoral; Artefacts; Rupture; Playground; Scar; Control; Enigma; Hallucination; and Reverie—Landmark is an intelligent and poetic survey which captures a genre of photography to perfection.
Available on Amazon, here.
Due to popular demand I’ve now released my sold-out Motherland monograph as a downloadable pdf available here: https://simoncroberts.com/shop/motherland-book/
My second solo exhibition at Flowers Gallery in London will be Pierdom, opening on 10th September. An associated book, published by Dewi Lewis Publishing, will be launched on the same night.
For more details, visit http://www.flowersgallery.com/exhibitions/flowers/2013/simon-roberts-pierdom
British photographer Simon Roberts has spent the past three years creating Pierdom, a comprehensive survey of Britain’s piers. Predominantly constructed during the 19th Century in the context of expanding Victorian seaside resorts and railways, these structures were often erected as landing docks for pleasure steamers and other sea craft. Growing to accommodate the needs of day-trippers escaping the smog of the city, engineers began to incorporate bandstands, cafes and music halls into their designs, embracing the growing notion of ‘pleasure seeking’ by the seaside.
Pierdom addresses the historical significance of these architectural structures placed in comparison with their modern interpretation and functionality. Roberts’ photographs of ruinous piers such as Birnbeck Pier (2012) are in contrast with those such as Ryde Pier (2012) in which the local community and everyday usage of the landscape is represented by a skate boarding park which dominates the composition. It is this socio-cultural element of the landscape that has sustained Roberts’ interest, revealing a deep fascination with the way humans interact with their environment, and in eccentric British pastimes.
At the turn of the century the British coastline boasted over 100 piers, some modest and functional, others elegant, exotic Victorian structures thrusting out into the sea. Now under half remain, the others destroyed by fierce weather and fires, with many dismantled during the 2nd World War to prevent German landings. Britain’s piers have become cultural landmarks, tracing history, national identity and economic fortunes from Victorian industrialism to the post-war boom, and finally now to the recent economic downturn.
Roberts’ large format photographs are taken with great technical precision, often from elevated positions encorporating peripheral details and the elements, thus enriching the viewing experience of each print. Through formal devices associated with the picturesque; perspective, asymmetry and juxtaposition, the photographs engage us with contemporary issues about our uneasy and fragile relationship to both nature, and our urban environments.The series is at once factual yet warm, a broad architectural and anthropological study of our coastline as a microcosm of British society.
“These pictures may encompass some of the seaside things we know best through such photographers as Tom Wood or Martin Parr, but they put those scenes in a broad context where people live in a landscape and a country, not just a car park. They also derive something from that quite different tradition, of the wild skies and unquenchable nature that we find in Turner. These are cool careful pictures, alluding to a large number of variables and seeing what balances can be struck between them. At the same time, they’re the warm record of a large number of trips to that many-sided and unfathomable place, the British seaside.” Francis Hodgson, 2013
Pierdom is the most comprehensive photographic record of British Pleasure Piers by a photographer for decades. Presented as a landscape format monograph all 58 surviving pleasure piers are represented along with a handful of lost piers and seascapes; photographs marking where a pier once stood. The publication, designed by FUEL (who Roberts collaborated with for his two previous monographs Motherland and We English) contains a map identifying locations of all piers, an introductory essay by photography critic Francis Hodgson and an appendix containing a potted history of each pier.
Retail price: £35
Publication: September 2013
Extent: 160 pages
Trim size: 246mm(H) x 305mm(W) (Landscape)
Photographs: 81 Colour
Aberystwyth Royal, Bangor Garth, Beaumaris, Blackpool Central,Blackpool North, Blackpool South, Bognor Regis, Boscombe, Bournemouth, Brighton Palace, Brighton West (Lost Pier), Burnham-on-Sea, Clacton-on-Sea, Cleethorpes, Clevedon, Colwyn Bay, Victoria Cromer, Deal, Douglas (Lost Pier), Dunoon, Eastbourne, Falmouth Prince of Wales, Felixstowe, Fleetwood Victoria (Lost Pier), Gravesend Town, Great Yarmouth Britannia, Great Yarmouth Wellington, Harwich Ha’penny, Hastings, Herne Bay, Hythe, Llandudno, Lowestoft Claremont, Lowestoft South, Margate Jetty (Lost Pier), Mumbles, Paignton, Penarth, Ramsey Queens, Redcar (Lost Pier), Rothesay, Ryde, St. Annes, Saltburn, Sandown Culver, Shanklin (Lost Pier), Skegness, Southampton Royal, Southend-on-Sea, Southport, Southsea Clarence, Southsea South Parade, Southwold, Swanage, Teignmouth Grand, Torquay Princess, Totland Bay, Walton-on-the-Naze, Weston-Super-Mare Birnbeck, Weston-Super-Mare Grand, Weymouth Pier Bandstand, Weymouth Pleasure, Worthing and Yarmouth. (Source: National Piers Society).
You can find out more details about the book here.